Stress hormone cortisol may increase alcohol relapse risk – Scientists at the University of Liverpool have found that high levels of a stress hormone in recovering alcoholics could increase the risk of relapse. The study showed that cortisol, a hormone produced by the adrenal gland in response to stress, is found in high levels in chronic alcoholics, as well as those recovering from the condition. Researchers found […]

Daily marijuana use shrinks key brain structures

JAMA / Archives – Long-term, heavy use of marijuana (cannabis) may be associated with structural abnormalities in areas of the brain known as the hippocampus and amygdala, according to a report in the June 2008 issue of Archives of General Psychiatry. Conflicting evidence exists regarding the long-term effects of marijuana use. “Although growing literature suggests that long-term cannabis […]

Club drug ecstasy causes brain damage, death by raising body temperature – A University of Adelaide study has revealed that the dangerous body temperature dysregulation effects of the club drug ecstasy are compounded when taken in warm environments. Preclinical research undertaken by Pharmacology PhD student Emily Jaehne shows that ecstasy deaths, which are invariably related to elevated body temperature, may be related to drug users’ […]

Children with autism learn to cross streets more safely with computer program

University of Haifa – Recent research has found that children with autism improved their road safety skills after practicing on computers with a unique virtual reality system. The independence of children with autism depends on their receiving treatment in natural settings. One of the main problems they face is their inability to learn how to […]

Nicotine in the Brain – a Demanding Drug

Nearly 80% of the smokers who try to quit relapse within six months, and nicotine is the main reason why. A new brain imaging study supported in part by NIH’s National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) shows how the nicotine in just a few puffs of a cigarette can drive someone to continue smoking. Dr. […]