Breaking News: Protesters march on Pakistan PM Nawaz's house
Survey: Teens less likely to view marijuana use as harmful

Survey: Teens less likely to view marijuana use as harmful

WASHINGTON, Dec. 18 (UPI) -- U.S. high school seniors are far less likely to believe regular marijuana use is harmful than they were in the past, a survey released Wednesday indicated.

New aid to help blunt painkiller addiction

WASHINGTON, Oct. 1 (UPI) -- A new online tool to help train U.S. healthcare providers on proper prescribing practices for painkillers is available, President Obama's drug czar said Monday.
Study: Cellphones change brain activity

Study: Cellphones change brain activity

BALTIMORE, Feb. 23 (UPI) -- Less than an hour of cellphone use can increase brain activity closest to the phone antenna, a U.S. government study published Wednesday indicated.

Teen girls abuse drugs more than boys

BETHESDA, Md., May 5 (UPI) -- Men tend to abuse medications more than women, but for females ages 12-17 there is a higher rate of girls abusing medications, U.S. researchers say.

Lack of sleep increases dopamine

BETHESDA, Md., Aug. 22 (UPI) -- One night without sleep increases the chemical dopamine in the brain, which may help explain how how the sleep-deprived stay alert, U.S. researchers said.

Adult ADHD linked with dopamine levels

BETHESDA, Md., Aug. 8 (UPI) -- Adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder have a reduced response to the drug Ritalin, U.S. government scientists have found.

Brain damage lets smokers 'forget'

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 26 (UPI) -- U.S. researchers found that some smokers with damage to a part of the brain -- the insula -- may have their addiction to nicotine practically eliminated.

Brain injury may help smokers quit

NEW YORK, Jan. 26 (UPI) -- U.S. scientists studying smokers with brain injuries have identified an area of the brain that may be responsible for addictive behavior.

ADHD study results are released

UPTON, N.Y., Nov. 29 (UPI) -- U.S. scientists say a brain protein proposed as a marker for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder is not positively correlated with the disease.

Feds offers public health answers to crime

WASHINGTON, July 26 (UPI) -- The National Institute on Drug Abuse has issued a report suggesting effective treatment of drug abuse and addiction can reduce crime and save taxpayers money.

Cocaine cravings are studied

WASHINGTON, June 14 (UPI) -- U.S. scientists say they have found the brain chemistry that underlies "cue-induced" craving in cocaine addicts.

Meth abuse linked to Parkinson's

UPTON, N.Y., Dec. 1 (UPI) -- Researchers have discovered the neurological reason why people abuse methamphetamines and in doing so, they also found such addicts may be setting themselves up

Nora Volkow (b. 27 March 1956) is director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse. She is Leon Trotsky's great-granddaughter.

Born in Mexico City, Volkow grew up in the house where Trotsky was killed. She attended the Modern American School, then earned a medical degree from National University of Mexico before going to New York University for psychiatric residency. She had a professional career at Brookhaven National Laboratory before becoming director of NIDA in May 2003.

Nora Volkow has been director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse since 2003. Her imaging studies of the brains of people addicted to drugs have helped to clarify the mechanisms of drug addiction. They have also helped to change the public's view of drug addiction, from that of a moral violation or character flaw to an understanding that pathological changes to brain structure make it very difficult for addicts to give up their addictions. Volkow has shown that abnormalities in the prefrontal cortex of addicts create a feeling of need or craving that addicts know is irrational but cannot prevent. Prefrontal abnormalities also make it difficult to override compulsions to take drugs by exercising cognitive control. The main areas affected are the orbitofrontal cortex, which maintains attention to goals, and the anterior cingulate cortex, that mediates the capacity to monitor and select action plans. Both areas receive stimulation from dopamine centers lower in the brain. A steady influx of dopamine makes it difficult for addicts to shift their attention away from the goal of attaining drugs. It also fastens their attention to the motivational value of drugs, even though these drugs have long stopped providing pleasure. It is now understood that dopamine activation does not signal pleasure. Rather, it signals the importance or relevance of sought-after goals. Addicts have a hard time turning their attention -- and their actions -- away from the goal of acquiring and consuming drugs. They are caught in a spiral of physical brain changes and the psychological consequences of those changes, leading to further changes.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Nora Volkow."
Most Popular
Hershey's new logo launched, compared to emoji poop
Kate Beckinsale joined by Lucas Till in 'The Disappointments Room'
Marisa Tomei, Hugh Grant go to school in 'Rewrite' trailer
Vicki Gunvalson explains what gay looks like to her
LeAnn Rimes jokes she lost virginity by raping boyfriend