Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Differences In Human Brain Chemistry May Account For Different Responses To Stimulants

Date:
September 7, 1999
Source:
NIH/National Institute On Drug Abuse
Summary:
Scientists have discovered a mechanism that appears to account for the different levels of euphoria people experience when taking a stimulant drug, according to a new study funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the U.S. Department of Energy.

Scientists have discovered a mechanism that appears to account for the different levels of euphoria people experience when taking a stimulant drug, according to a new study funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the U.S. Department of Energy. The study, which will appear in the September issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry, found that people who have lower levels of dopamine D2 receptors in their brains are more inclined to like the effects of methylphenidate, a mild stimulant, than people who have higher levels of these receptors and who were found to dislike the drug's effects.

Related Articles


"This finding supports the theory that brain chemistry may predispose some people to becoming drug abusers," says NIDA Director Dr. Alan I. Leshner. "Understanding these biological issues will help us learn why some people are particularly vulnerable to abusing drugs and provides new potential targets for both prevention and treatment efforts."

In the study, Dr. Nora Volkow and her colleagues at Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, New York, and at the State University of New York at Stony Brook used a brain imaging technique called positron emission tomography to measure dopamine D2 receptor, or D2, levels in the brains of 23 men who were not drug abusers. The men were given methylphenidate and asked to describe its effects.

Twelve of the men described methylphenidate as pleasant, saying that the drug made them happy or improved their mood. Nine described the drug as unpleasant, saying that it made them annoyed or distrustful, and two described the drug as neutral in its effects.

The results of this study showed that those who described methylphenidate's effects as pleasant had lower numbers of D2 receptors than did those who described the drug's effects as unpleasant. "The fact that the people in the current study who liked methylphenidate also had low levels of these receptors and yet were not stimulant abusers indicates that other factors besides low D2 levels are also necessary to create a real vulnerability to drug abuse," says Dr. Volkow.

###

NIDA supports more than 85 percent of the world's research on the health aspects of drug abuse and addiction. The Institute also carries out a large variety of programs to ensure the rapid dissemination of research information and its implementation in policy and practice. Fact sheets on health effects of drugs of abuse and other topics can be ordered free of charge in English and Spanish, by calling NIDA Infofax at 1-888-NIH-NIDA (-644-6432) or 1-888-TYY-NIDA (-889-6432) for the deaf. These fact sheets and further information on NIDA research and other activities can be found on the NIDA home page at http://www.nida.nih.gov .


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NIH/National Institute On Drug Abuse. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

NIH/National Institute On Drug Abuse. "Differences In Human Brain Chemistry May Account For Different Responses To Stimulants." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 September 1999. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/09/990907075205.htm>.
NIH/National Institute On Drug Abuse. (1999, September 7). Differences In Human Brain Chemistry May Account For Different Responses To Stimulants. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/09/990907075205.htm
NIH/National Institute On Drug Abuse. "Differences In Human Brain Chemistry May Account For Different Responses To Stimulants." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/09/990907075205.htm (accessed November 21, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, November 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

AFP (Nov. 21, 2014) Having children has always been a frightening prospect in Sierra Leone, the world's most dangerous place to give birth, but Ebola has presented an alarming new threat for expectant mothers. Duration: 00:37 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers find that as people approach new decades in their lives they make bigger life decisions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola: Life Without School in Guinea

Ebola: Life Without School in Guinea

AFP (Nov. 21, 2014) Following the closure of schools and universities in Guinea because of the Ebola virus, students look for temporary work or gather in makeshift classrooms to catch up on their syllabus. Duration: 02:14 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins