Open Questions: Neurochemistry

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See also: Neurobiology




Endocrine system connections



The brain's reward system




Recommended references: Web sites

Recommended references: Magazine/journal articles

Recommended references: Books


Recommended references: Web sites

Site indexes

Sites with general resources

Surveys, overviews, tutorials

Scientists seek to manage dopamine's good and bad sides
October 2009 article about research into the role of dopamine in addiction, obesity, gambling, Parkinson's disease, and ADHD.
How marijuana makes you vague
March 2001 news article about the idea that marijuana disrupts memory and other thought processes.
More than one way to cheer up
November 1999 news article about how antidepressants like Prozac use more than one chemical pathway to alter mood.
Dopamine not the source of pleasure
March 1999 news article about experiments that question the connection between dopamine and pleasure.
To Trust or Not to Trust: Ask Oxytocin
July 2008 Scientific American Mind Matters article. "When someone betrays us, how does the brain deal with it? A hormone associated with social attachment gives us clues."
Cocaine Vaccine
December 2004 Scientific American Mind news article about a cocaine vaccine developed by Xenova Group.
The Antidepressants
November 2004 Scientific American sidebar that provides a short summary of different types of antidepressant drugs.
The Addicted Brain
March 2004 Scientific American Society & Policy article, subtitled "Drug abuse produces long-term changes in the reward circuitry of the brain. Knowledge of the cellular and molecular details of these adaptations could lead to new treatments for the compulsive behaviors that underlie addiction."
Beating Abuse
January 2002 Scientific American News Scan article, subtitled "Glutamate may hold a key to drug addiction."
One Dose of Cocaine Primes the Brain for Addiction
May 2001 Scientific American news article about how cocaine and other addictive drugs take over chemical mechanisms that normally reinforce learning and memory in the brain.
Study Reveals Why People Might Crave Cocaine
May 2001 Scientific American news article about the brain region involved in cocaine craving.
Controlling Cravings
March 2001 Scientific American news article about how gamma-vinyl GABA can block the neurochemical and behavioral changes associated with addiction and environment-based cravings in general.
Food Addictions in the Brain
February 2001 Scientific American news article about how obese people seem to share a neurochemical deficiency with many cocaine and alcohol abusers."
Ecstasy's Legacy
July 2000 Scientific American In Focus article, subtitled "Several studies have now shown that the popular drug causes permanent brain damage."
Closing in on Addiction
November 1997 Scientific American In Focus article, subtitled "New findings suggest a biochemical common ground."
One cocaine hit may trigger addiction
May 2001 news article about how a single exposure to cocaine can double the response of neurons that produce dopamine.

Recommended references: Magazine/journal articles

Brain Boosters
Janet Raloff
Science News, February 26, 2011
Some nutritional supplements provide real food for thought.
The Neurobiology of Trust
Paul J. Zak
Scientific American, June 2008
Our inclination to trust a stranger stems in large part from exposure to a small molecule known for an entirely different task: inducing labor - oxytocin.
The Brain's Own Marijuana
Roger A. Nicoll; Bradley N. Alger
Scientific American, December 2004
The Addicted Brain
Eric J. Nestler; Robert C. Malenka
Scientific American, March 2004
The article includes a sidebar about Insights from Imaging.
Taming Stress
Robert Sapolsky
Scientific American, September 2003
The Neurobiology of Depression
Charles B. Nemeroff
Scientific American, June 1998, pp. 42-49
Depression has been found to have its origins in brain biochemistry. The neurological underpinnings continue to be clarified.

Recommended references: Books


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