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:5/27/2016)... NY (PRWEB) , ... May 27, 2016 , ... This ... of a stroke, which we as a society can control and change. , As ... occurs nearly every 40 seconds within the United States. Plus, with an estimated 129,000 ...
(Date:5/27/2016)... , ... May 27, 2016 , ... Beleza Medspa ... body fat composition regulations. This is the first time that Coolsculpting is being ... at least every six months to ensure they meet the prescribed body-fat standard, measured ...
(Date:5/27/2016)... ... May 27, 2016 , ... Each year ... medicine. Allison Outerbridge is this year’s Life University winner of a ... the university’s Student Leadership Awards ceremony. , Outerbridge is approaching her last quarter ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... May 26, 2016 , ... There are many ways to cook ... Council (NHDSC) suggests that Americans prefer their dogs straight off the grill. Of the ... is their favorite way to cook a hot dog, far outpacing other cooking methods ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... May 26, 2016 , ... ... outcomes, hosted members and suppliers for its inaugural Member Conference at the Paris ... mission of elevating the operational health of America’s healthcare providers. , The conference ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/26/2016)... Since its commercial introduction in ... life science tool for conducting genetic studies in a ... in its new report that the industry sits on ... by a range of new applications in the clinical ... http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140723/694805 ) , Since the Human ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... and GERMANTOWN, Maryland , May 25, 2016 ... ; Frankfurt Prime Standard: QIA) today announced that the company ... Diagnostics GmbH to develop and commercialize predictive assays in oncology. ... as a marker to predict effectiveness of anthracycline treatment in ... "We are pleased to partner with Therawis, which developed the ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... Florida , May 25, 2016 ... Conference & Expo earlier this month, the numbers and ... revenues continue to climb into the billions, more research ... newly released 4th Edition State of Legal Marijuana Markets ... a cannabis-focused data-analysis firm, much of the increase in ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: