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Addiction involves loss of control over use of a substance, often in the presence of physiological and psychological dependence on a substance and compulsion to continue seeking and using the substance despite possible negative consequences.
Drug addiction is partially heritable but the non-genetic inheritance mechanisms are not well understood. The authors show that motivation of male rats in response to cocaine self-administration elicit susceptibility and/or decreased resistance to developing addiction like behaviour in offspring.
The concept of food addiction as an explanation for the rise in obesity has become increasingly popular. In this Opinion article, Graham Finlayson critically evaluates the food addiction hypothesis and highlights several problems with its use.
Addictive substances hijack the reward system partly via synaptic plasticity onto dopamine neurons. Cadherins may contribute to cocaine-evoked adaptations, supporting the notion that drug addiction is a synaptic disease.
A new study shows that nicotinic receptors activate a particular type of interneuron in the prefrontal cortex. Deficits in this relationship give rise to behavioral abnormalities similar to those associated with schizophrenia, which can be ameliorated by nicotine.
Two new studies show that mechanisms mediating the opioid side effects of tolerance, hyperalgesia and physical dependence are mediated spinally and can be dissociated from analgesia. These side effects can be selectively targeted by clinically available drugs without affecting their pain-relieving effects.