Navigation Links
Brain Scans Show Differences in Cocaine Addicts
Date:5/28/2009

Regions affected when thinking about drugs could be targets for treatments, researchers say

THURSDAY, May 28 (HealthDay News) --Cocaine users appear to have less activity in the parts of their brains that monitor behaviors and emotions, a finding that researchers think may make them more vulnerable to addiction to the drug, a new research shows.

Using MRI scans, the researchers saw there were issues in these regions of the brain when cocaine users were given a test in which fast, correct answers -- some dealing specifically with drug use -- were rewarded with money. The issues persisted even when the addicts did as well as non-cocaine users on these tests.

"Whether these brain differences are an underlying cause or a consequence of addiction, the brain regions involved should be considered targets for new kinds of treatments aimed at improving function and self-regulatory control," study author Rita Goldstein, a psychologist at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory, said in a news release issued by the lab.

The study results appear online this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

In the experiment, a group of active cocaine users and demographically similarly but healthy non-users had to push a button that corresponded to a word related to either drug use (e.g., crack, addict) or a neutral term, depending on the scenario. Fast, accurate answers could earn the test subjects up to a maximum of $75 for the entire experiment.

Brain imaging showed that the part of the brain that normally becomes active when people monitor their own behavior was far quieter in the cocaine users, especially during the parts of the test in which no monetary rewards were being offered and only neutral terms were being used -- sections considered the least "interesting," according to the researchers. Participants who used cocaine most often during the previous month showed the least activity in this area of the brain.

During the section of the test of most interest to the cocaine users -- in which they could earn money for their answers and the terms being used were drug-related -- activity was much lower than their healthy peers in a part of the brain that usually becomes quiet when a person is suppressing emotions. This, the researchers said, suggests the cocaine users were trying to fight off drug cravings to focus on the succeeding at the test.

"When you really have to suppress a powerful negative emotion, like sadness, anxiety or drug craving, activity in this brain region is supposed to decrease, possibly to tune out the background 'noise' of these emotions so you can focus on the task at hand," said Goldstein, adding that thoughts of past drug use or using more drugs would be the "noise" in this scenario. She went on to note that the cocaine users reported high levels of "task-induced craving" during this portion of the test.

Treatments to improve and strengthen activity in the behavior- and emotion-monitoring portions of the brain -- both found in the anterior cingulate cortex region -- may help addicts regain self-control and decrease impulsive behavior, the researchers concluded.

More information

The U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse has more about cocaine.



-- Kevin McKeever



SOURCE: U.S. Department of Energy/Brookhaven National Laboratory, news release, May 25, 2009


'/>"/>
Copyright©2009 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Draining away brains toxic protein to stop Alzheimers
2. Vision restoration therapy shown to improve brain activity in brain injured patients
3. Clinical depression linked to abnormal emotional brain circuits
4. Brain imaging reveals breakdown of normal emotional processing
5. Brain cells work differently than previously thought
6. Vaccine Stops Alzheimers Brain Tangles
7. Research may unlock mystery of autisms origin in the brain
8. Scientists Spot Brains Free Will Center
9. Free will takes flight: how our brains respond to an approaching menace
10. Alcoholics With Cirrhosis Have More Brain Damage
11. Brain Lesions Predict MS Progression
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Brain Scans Show Differences in Cocaine Addicts
(Date:8/16/2017)... and CARTERSVILLE, Georgia (PRWEB) , ... August 16, 2017 , ... ... the fastest growing companies in the U.S. for the second year in a row. ... growth over the past three years. , “To be on the list once is ...
(Date:8/16/2017)... Atlanta, GA (PRWEB) , ... August 16, 2017 , ... ... the new Inc. 5000. The company ranked #4429 on the newly released, 36th annual ... The list represents a unique look at the most successful companies within the American ...
(Date:8/16/2017)... ... 16, 2017 , ... In a recent survey, eighty-two percent of women reported ... fact, cellulite can't always be eliminated by diet and exercise alone, and now for ... physicians nationwide. Dr. Kenneth Rothaus has recently added Cellulaze™ to his practice ...
(Date:8/16/2017)... Long Island, NY (PRWEB) , ... August 16, 2017 , ... ... assist with IV starts and blood draws. By broadly deploying AccuVein devices, Maury Regional ... technology takes much of the guesswork out of a needle stick and more importantly, ...
(Date:8/16/2017)... ... August 16, 2017 , ... LabRoots , the leading provider ... the world, is excited to announce Andrew Ly as the winner of the LabRoots ... textbook costs. , Ly, who is in his third year at the University ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:8/15/2017)... 15, 2017  AOTI Inc. announced today that its fully owned ... recently opened a New York City Office in Yonkers, ... unique Topical Wound Oxygen (TWO 2 ) homecare therapy. This new ... for Health Care (ACHC) under the company,s DMEPOS accreditation for Home/Durable ... Advanced ...
(Date:8/8/2017)... Second-quarter 2017 revenues of $876 million and ... operations Second-quarter 2017 Branded ... Second-quarter 2017 Sterile Injectables ... Second-quarter 2017 adjusted diluted earnings per ... $0.93 Second-quarter 2017 reported ...
(Date:8/7/2017)... , Aug. 7, 2017  Endo International plc ... reached agreements to resolve virtually all known U.S. mesh ... discussions to resolve the known remaining U.S. claims at ... payments beginning in the fourth quarter of 2017 and ... of its second quarter 2017 results, the Company intends ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: