Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Studies explore origins of addiction, treaments

Date:
November 12, 2013
Source:
Society for Neuroscience
Summary:
Studies suggest promising new treatments for nicotine and heroin addiction, and further our understanding of pathological gambling and heroin abuse in those suffering chronic pain. This new knowledge may one day lead to non-pharmaceutical interventions and therapies to treat addiction.

Studies released today suggest promising new treatments for nicotine and heroin addiction, and further our understanding of pathological gambling and heroin abuse in those suffering chronic pain. This new knowledge, released at Neuroscience 2013, the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience and the world's largest source of emerging news about brain science and health, may one day lead to non-pharmaceutical interventions and therapies to treat addiction.

According to the World Health Organization, 15.3 million people worldwide suffer from drug use disorders. A variety of brain areas and processes play a role in addictive behaviors, complicating treatment and costing millions of dollars and lives each year. Today's studies contribute to an understanding of how compulsive disorders like addiction develop and provide new insight into methods to treat addictive behaviors .

The new findings show that:

  • Magnetic stimulation of the brain helps some people decrease their smoking, and even quit altogether for up to six months after treatment
  • Stimulating an area of the brain associated with drug reward, the subthalamic nucleus, reduces rats' motivation to take heroin
  • Chronic pain leads rats already exposed to drugs to take more and higher doses of heroin, suggesting that people with addiction are more susceptible to overdose when in chronic pain

Other recent findings discussed show that:

  • Drug abuse stresses the brain, and the resulting dysregulation of systems involved in the stress response could contribute to negative feelings that trigger increased drug taking and addiction
  • Research suggests an area of the brain known as the insula may be overactive in people with gambling problems. People with damage to this area were less prone to the motivations of gamblers, providing a clue to identify areas of the brain that are linked to gambling addiction
  • Pathological gamblers may love a cash payout, but care less about other types of rewards, such as sex or food. Researchers found pathological gamblers showed decreased activity in reward-sensitive brain areas when money wasn't involved

"Non-drug interventions would be an enormous step forward in drug abuse treatment, which currently relies on replacing one drug with another and has an extremely high rate of relapse," said press conference moderator Barry Everitt of the University of Cambridge, an expert in drug abuse research. "Today's exciting results give us new ways of understanding why compulsive conditions such as drug abuse and pathological gambling might arise, and give us targets to explore for non-drug treatment, which would help us treat a population suffering from addiction."


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

Society for Neuroscience. "Studies explore origins of addiction, treaments." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 November 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131112141813.htm>.
Society for Neuroscience. (2013, November 12). Studies explore origins of addiction, treaments. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131112141813.htm
Society for Neuroscience. "Studies explore origins of addiction, treaments." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131112141813.htm (accessed April 24, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Study Says Most Crime Not Linked To Mental Illness

Study Says Most Crime Not Linked To Mental Illness

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) A new study finds most crimes committed by people with mental illness are not caused by symptoms of their illness or disorder. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) NBC's "Today" conducted an experiment to see if changing the size of plates and utensils affects the amount individuals eat. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Do We Get Nicer With Age?

Do We Get Nicer With Age?

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) A recent report claims personality can change over time as we age, and usually that means becoming nicer and more emotionally stable. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How to Master Motherhood With the Best Work/Life Balance

How to Master Motherhood With the Best Work/Life Balance

TheStreet (Apr. 22, 2014) In the U.S., there are more than 11 million couples trying to conceive at any given time. From helping celebrity moms like Bethanny Frankel to ordinary soon-to-be-moms, TV personality and parenting expert, Rosie Pope, gives you the inside scoop on mastering motherhood. London-born entrepreneur Pope is the creative force behind Rosie Pope Maternity and MomPrep. She explains why being an entrepreneur offers the best life balance for her and tips for all types of moms. Video provided by TheStreet
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