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RESEARCH FOCUS

Neurobiological Underpinnings of Addictions

Colorized image of human brain

Photo credit: National Institute of Mental Health, National Institutes of Health, U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services

RIA scientists conduct groundbreaking research about the brain mechanisms that create a vulnerability to addiction in order to develop alternative approaches to treating addiction.

Research at RIA focused on the neurobiological underpinnings of addiction ranges widely from prenatal and postnatal substance exposure on the mesolimbic dopaminergic pathway; to the endocannabinoid (eCB) system and stress response and anxiety-related behavior; to neuropeptides, craving and anxiety during abstinence; to animal models of risky behavior and impulsivity.

Current neurobiological projects underway at RIA include:

6/19/14

Haj-Dahmane | Kaczocha
The goal of this study is to help develop inhibitors for Fatty Acid Binding Proteins (FABPs) in the brain to aid in new treatments of anxiety disorders and addiction.

6/19/14

Shen | Haj-Dahmane | Dlugos
Researchers will study prenatal exposure to ethanol and how that might alter brain mechanisms that influence addiction.

RIA Scientists Investigating the Neurobiological Underpinnings of Addiction: