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Optogenetics project takes top NIDA Addiction Science Award
Date:5/21/2012

portrayals in the media are altered images, and are unrealistic to attain safely.

For the first time, the judges awarded an honorable mention, to 15-year-old Zarin Ibnat Rahman, a sophomore at Brookings High School in Brookings, S.D., for her project, Boosting the ADHD Brain: Effects of Gum Chewing and Caffeine on Cognition and Memory in Adolescents with ADHD. Based on recent brain imaging research, she hypothesized that the act of chewing may boost key aspects of cognition (e.g., memory and attention), and decided to test this hypothesis conducting a study of teens who have been diagnosed with ADHD. She tested the effects of chewing sugarless gum and/or caffeine (from dark chocolate) on their performance on a series of cognitive tests. Her results are consistent with the notion that chewing gum can improve attention and memory, although it did not appear to affect concentration.

Friends of NIDA provides funding for the awards as part of its ongoing support of research into the causes, consequences, and treatment of drug abuse and addiction. "We are thrilled at the broad range of research topics explored by the students this year," said Dr. William Dewey, Louis S. and Ruth S. Harris Professor and Chair, Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, and president and chair of the Executive Committee, Friends of NIDA. "From optogenetics to Facebook, these young winners really showcase the breadth of addiction science. By sponsoring this competition, Friends of NIDA hopes that these bright students will be encouraged to pursue a career in drug abuse research."

This year, about 1,500 students from 70 countries participated in the Intel ISEF competition, coordinated by the Society for Science and the Public. The nonprofit organization Society for Science and the Public partners with Intelalong with dozens of other corporate, academic, government and science-focused sponsorsto provide support and award
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Contact: NIDA Press Office
media@nida.nih.gov
301-443-6245
NIH/National Institute on Drug Abuse
Source:Eurekalert

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