Reviews To Read – March 2020. In this review, the authors critically report the scientific and clinical evidence supporting alcohol use disorder as a treatable disease using medications and/or behavioral treatments. Approved treatments and promising new interventions are reviewed and discussed, with a special emphasis on personal treatment approaches. The authors also note the critical… [Read More]
Reviews to Read
Cannabidiol: Not a Cure-All, but a Candidate for Coping With Cue-Induced Craving
Reviews To Read – February 2020. In this commentary, David Epstein evaluates a recent human-laboratory study that showed promising results for cannabidiol (CBD) as an anti-craving medication in people with recent histories of opioid use disorder (OUD). He emphasizes that people at different stages of opioid use or OUD have different needs, so potential treatments… [Read More]
Animal Models of (or for) Aggression Reward, Addiction, and Relapse: Behavior and Circuits.
Reviews To Read – July 2019. Inappropriate and pathological aggression plays a leading role in the suffering and death of millions of people, and further places an untenable strain on the caregivers and families of those afflicted. In some cases, like addictive drugs, aggression can be highly rewarding (appetitive) and continually pursued despite short- and… [Read More]
Synaptic and intrinsic plasticity in the ventral tegmental area after chronic cocaine.
Reviews To Read – March 2019. Cocaine drives persistent changes in synaptic transmission and ventral tegmental area dopamine neuron activity. Francis et al. reviews how these alterations contribute to cocaine addiction and highlight therapeutic avenues for future treatment.
Expression of immediate early genes in brain reward circuitries: Differential regulation by psychostimulant and opioid drugs.
Reviews To Read – January 2019. Although some of the clinical manifestations of substance use disorders might be superficially similar, it is highly likely that different classes of abused drugs including opioids (heroin, morphine, and oxycodone, other opioids) and psychostimulants (cocaine and amphetamines) cause different neuroadaptations in various brain regions dependent in the distribution and concentration of their biochemical… [Read More]
Science-Based Actions Can Help Address the Opioid Crisis.
Reviews To Read – November 29, 2018. This commentary on the opioid crisis was written by two NIDA IRP investigators (clinical investigator David Epstein and preclinical investigator Yavin Shaham), along with former Clinical Director Markus Heilig. It challenges misconceptions about the nature of the crisis, and it suggests solutions that are–as the authors say–“probably not… [Read More]
Cannabinoid disruption of learning mechanisms involved in reward processing
Reviews To Read – August 28, 2018. The increasing use of marijuana, its derivatives, and synthetic cannabinoids for medicinal and recreational purposes has increased interest in understanding the addictive potential of this class of molecules. Studies show that nearly 1 in 10 marijuana users will eventually show signs of dependence on the drug, which is… [Read More]
Context-induced relapse after extinction versus punishment: similarities and differences.
Reviews To Read – June 14, 2018. This review, which is part of a special issue of Psychopharmacology on “Extinction” summarizes recent research on similarities and differences in the neuronal mechanisms of context-induced relapse after extinction-imposed abstinence (the classical model) versus context-induced relapse after punishment-imposed abstinence (the new model).
Discovery and development of varenicline for smoking cessation
Reviews To Read – April 3, 2018. from the Addiction Biology Unit Quitting smoking is challenging. The recent development of varenicline (Chantix®) for smoking cessation is a successful story. In this article, we review the strong theoretical rationale, major findings in preclinical and clinical studies with varenicline, and post-market surveillance. We also discuss current major… [Read More]
Misuse of Novel Synthetic Opioids: A Deadly New Trend.
Reviews To Read – March 1, 2018. The United States is experiencing an epidemic of opioid overdose deaths. A major factor in this crisis is the increasing availability of potent opioid drugs, including fentanyl and novel synthetic opioids (NSOs). NSOs include various analogs of fentanyl and newly-emerging non-fentanyl compounds which stimulate mu-opioid receptor proteins in… [Read More]