Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Researchers Explore Long-term Adolescent Vulnerability To Drugs

Date:
September 20, 2009
Source:
Georgia State University
Summary:
As part of efforts to understand drug abuse, researchers are finding that adolescent rats appear to be less vulnerable to the long-term effects of withdrawal and relapse in certain types of drug use than rats that take the drugs in adulthood.

As part of efforts to understand drug abuse, Georgia State University researchers are finding that adolescent rats appear to be less vulnerable to the long-term effects of withdrawal and relapse in certain types of drug use than rats that take the drugs in adulthood.

The laboratory of Kyle Frantz, associate professor of neuroscience, studied reinstatement of drug seeking in adolescent and adult rats which were given morphine, heroin, and cocaine. Surprisingly, the younger animals were less motivated to seek the drugs after a period of abstinence than the older ones were. The younger rats also showed fewer signs of drug withdrawal.

"The model is important, and the results are interesting because they suggest that younger animals do not show the same level of vulnerability as adults, at least with the drugs and conditions we've tested so far," said Frantz, whose graduate students, James Doherty and Chen Li, and technician Bonnie Williams, conducted the research with help from outstanding GSU undergraduates.

Rats were first given drugs to induce urges to take more of the drug. Rats then pressed levers to receive more drugs, while receiving visual cues like lights and sound. After receiving drugs and then being withdrawn from them, researchers used the cues to see if the rats would reinstate drug-seeking behavior. Researchers found that younger rats were less likely to seek the drugs compared to the adult rats, regardless of which drug they had taken previously.

By better understanding this animal model of drug intake and relapse, scientists have an opportunity to learn how the process works in humans, and may be able to apply the knowledge gained to develop better treatments.

"Regardless of what people do during the teenage years, the question is whether they will transition to adult addicts who will choose drugs over responsibilities like family and work," Frantz explained.

Frantz's lab has received internal grants from Georgia State University and the Medical University of South Carolina to explore the role of plasticity in the brain — the ability of the brain to change in response to different experiences — in long-term drug vulnerability.

Frantz and her researchers also want to look at whether factors such as environmental enrichment are involved. "Environmental enrichment models are relatively easy to apply to the human condition. If animals are less likely to seek drugs after environmental enrichment, then drug treatment and prevention programs should include human challenges such as school, exercise, and interesting social interactions."

Her lab's research has been supported by the Center for Behavioral Neuroscience — a consortium of seven Atlanta universities — Georgia State's Neuroscience Institute and the National Institute on Drug Abuse of the National Institutes of Health.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Georgia State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Georgia State University. "Researchers Explore Long-term Adolescent Vulnerability To Drugs." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 September 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090916173326.htm>.
Georgia State University. (2009, September 20). Researchers Explore Long-term Adolescent Vulnerability To Drugs. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090916173326.htm
Georgia State University. "Researchers Explore Long-term Adolescent Vulnerability To Drugs." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090916173326.htm (accessed September 18, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

What HealthKit Bug Means For Your iOS Fitness Apps

What HealthKit Bug Means For Your iOS Fitness Apps

Newsy (Sep. 18, 2014) Apple has delayed the launch of the HealthKit app platform, citing a bug. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Residents Vaccinated as Haiti Fights Cholera Epidemic

Residents Vaccinated as Haiti Fights Cholera Epidemic

AFP (Sep. 18, 2014) Haitians receive the second dose of the vaccine against cholera as part of the UN's vaccination campaign. Duration: 00:34 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Artificial Sweetener Could Promote Diabetes

Artificial Sweetener Could Promote Diabetes

Newsy (Sep. 17, 2014) Doctors once thought artificial sweeteners lacked the health risks of sugar, but a new study says they can impact blood sugar levels the same way. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Vaccine Trial Gets Underway at Oxford University

Ebola Vaccine Trial Gets Underway at Oxford University

AFP (Sep. 17, 2014) A healthy British volunteer is to become the first person to receive a new vaccine for the Ebola virus after US President Barack Obama called for action against the epidemic and warned it was "spiralling out of control." Duration: 01:02 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:
from the past week

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