Genetics

New data suggests nicotine while pregnant alters genes

The Akay Lab biomedical research team at the University of Houston is reporting in the journal Nature Scientific Reports that a possible cure for addiction may be found by following the pathways of significantly altered dopamine ...

Neuroscience

Study finds GABA cells help fight alcoholism

Scientists of the Higher School of Economics, Indiana University, and École normale supérieure have clarified how alcohol influences the dopamine and inhibitory cells in the midbrain that are involved in the reward system ...

Neuroscience

Researchers uncover new target of alcohol in the brain

When alcohol enters the brain, it causes neurons in a specialized region called the ventral tegmental area, or VTA—also known as the "pleasure center"—to release dopamine, a neurotransmitter that produces those feel-good ...

Neuroscience

Researchers study how cues drive our behavior

Do dopamine neurons have a role in causing cues in our environment to acquire value? And, if so, do different groups of dopamine neurons serve different functions within this process?

Neuroscience

A gene required for addictive behavior

Cocaine can have a devastating effect on people. It directly stimulates the brain's reward center, and, more importantly, induces long-term changes to the reward circuitry that are responsible for addictive behaviors. Alban ...

Neuroscience

New insights into nicotine's effect on reward pathways

Northwestern scientists have discovered new mechanisms used by nicotine to manipulate the brain's reward pathway—findings which could inform the development of future anti-addiction therapies.

Neuroscience

Stress regulates self-harm in rats

A stress hormone modulates compulsive biting in a rat model of self-injurious behavior (SIB), according to new research published in JNeurosci. Manipulating the activity of the brain circuitry underlying SIB could create ...

Neuroscience

Axon guidance gene influences reward system

Individuals with a mutation in a gene involved in nervous system development have reduced connectivity between regions of the brain's reward system, finds a study of a four-generation Canadian family published in JNeurosci.

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