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Developing a Wireless Optical Approach to Dissect the Neural Circuitry Underlying Cognitive Deficiencies Induced by Adolescent Caffeine Exposure

Haj-Dahmane | Santerre-Anderson

Caffeine is the most commonly used psychostimulant, with consumption typically beginning in adolescence. Daily exposure to caffeine among adolescents has escalated over recent years, and marketing for caffeine products, especially “energy drinks,” is typically directed toward adolescent consumers. Problematically, little is known regarding the persistent effects of adolescent caffeine exposure (ACE) on the developing brain. This study will utilize a new, cutting-edge optogenetic technology in order to mechanistically dissect the neuro-circuity affected by developmental psychostimulant exposure. Results from this study should aid in understanding how exposure to caffeine during adolescence may alter neural development, thereby leading to persistent behavioral changes.

Principal Investigators are Samir Haj-Dahmane, PhD, RIA senior research scientist, and Jessica L. Santerre-Anderson, PhD, postdoctoral fellow, UB Department of Anesthesiology. Funded by RIA’s Howard T. Blane Director’s Award for Development of Innovative Research in the Addictions (BDAA), 2016-17.