Matching Items (25)

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Thinking Brains: An Introduction to Neuroscientific Thought

Description

An introduction to neuroscientific thought aimed at an audience that is not educated in biology. Meant to be readable and easily understood by anyone with a high school education. The

An introduction to neuroscientific thought aimed at an audience that is not educated in biology. Meant to be readable and easily understood by anyone with a high school education. The first section is completed in its entirety, with outlines for the proposed final sections to be completed over the next few years.

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Date Created
  • 2014-05

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Head Trauma in Professional Football Players: Implications for the Brain, the Game, and Society

Description

Sports related concussions, or mild traumatic brain injuries (mTBI), have recently increased in prevalence, and thus gained a great deal of recognition from the public and the media. While the

Sports related concussions, or mild traumatic brain injuries (mTBI), have recently increased in prevalence, and thus gained a great deal of recognition from the public and the media. While the acute symptoms associated with concussions are well known, which include headaches, dizziness, vomiting, and fatigue, recent research has indicated that there can be severe chronic consequences of multiple conditions. Most notably, a disease called Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) has been linked to multiple mTBIs, which produces symptoms similar to Alzheimer's disease and dementia, in addition to personality changes, increased suicidality, and in some cases death. This knowledge has led the NFL to take steps to protect their players, and increase both the understanding and awareness of the problems associated with multiple concussions. This comes with many problems, however, as players and fans alike are quick to resist any type of change to the rules or policies present in football, in fear that it may damage the integrity of the game. The NFL is thus forced into a difficult position, and must balance public opinion and player safety. There are things that can be done, however, that do not threaten the game itself, such as investing in concussion research and safety equipment design that will more effectively protect the brain from concussions.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2013-05

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A Determination of the Hedonic Properties of Synthetic Cathinones 4-MEC and MDPV Through the Use of Intracranial Self-Stimulation

Description

The use of synthetic cathinones or "bath salts" has risen dramatically in recent years with one of the most popular being Methylendioxypyrovalerone (MDPV). Following the temporary legislative ban on the

The use of synthetic cathinones or "bath salts" has risen dramatically in recent years with one of the most popular being Methylendioxypyrovalerone (MDPV). Following the temporary legislative ban on the sale and distribution of this compound , a multitude of other cathinone derivatives have been synthesized. The current study seeks to compare the abuse potential of MDPV with one of the emergent synthetic cathinones 4-methylethcathinone (4-MEC), based on their respective ability to lower current thresholds in an intracranial self-stimulation (ICSS) paradigm. Following acute administration (0.1, 0.5, 1 and 2 mg/kg i.p.) MDPV was found to significantly lower ICSS thresholds at all doses tested (F4,35=11.549, p<0.001). However, following acute administration (0.3,1,3,10,30 mg/kg i.p) 4-MEC produced no significant ICSS threshold depression (F5,135= 0.622, p = 0.684). Together these findings suggest that while MDPV may possess significant abuse potential, other synthetic cathinones such as 4-MEC may have a drastically reduced potential for abuse.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2013-05

The Relation between Anxiety and Conditioned Place Preference to Methamphetamine in Female versus Male Rats

Description

Females are highly vulnerable to the effects of methamphetamine, and understanding the mechanisms of this is critical to addressing methamphetamine use as a public health issue. Hormones may play a

Females are highly vulnerable to the effects of methamphetamine, and understanding the mechanisms of this is critical to addressing methamphetamine use as a public health issue. Hormones may play a role in methamphetamine sensitivity; thus, the fluctuation of various endogenous peptides during the postpartum experience is of interest. This honors thesis project explored the relation between anxiety-like behavior, as measured by activity in an open field, and conditioned place preference to methamphetamine in female versus male rats. The behavior of postpartum as well as virgin female rats was compared to that of male rats. There was not a significant difference between males and females in conditioned place preference to methamphetamine, yet females showed higher locomotor activity in response to the drug as well as increased anxiety-like behavior in open field testing as compared to males. Further study is vital to comprehending the complex mechanisms of sex differences in methamphetamine addiction.

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Date Created
  • 2016-05

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Effects of α‐Pyrrolidinopentiophenone and 4-Methyl-N-Ethylcathinone, Two Synthetic Cathinones Commonly Found in Second-Generation “Bath Salts,” on Intracranial Self-Stimulation Thresholds in Rats

Description

Background: Use of synthetic cathinones, which are designer stimulants found in “bath salts,” has increased dramatically in recent years. Following governmental bans of methylenedioxypyrovalerone, mephedrone, and methylone, a second generation of

Background: Use of synthetic cathinones, which are designer stimulants found in “bath salts,” has increased dramatically in recent years. Following governmental bans of methylenedioxypyrovalerone, mephedrone, and methylone, a second generation of synthetic cathinones with unknown abuse liability has emerged as replacements.

Methods: Using a discrete trials current intensity threshold intracranial self-stimulation procedure, the present study assessed the effects of 2 common second-generation synthetic cathinones, α‐pyrrolidinopentiophenone (0.1–5mg/kg) and 4-methyl-N-ethcathinone (1–100mg/kg) on brain reward function. Methamphetamine (0.1–3mg/kg) was also tested for comparison purposes.

Results: Results revealed both α‐pyrrolidinopentiophenone and 4-methyl-N-ethcathinone produced significant intracranial self-stimulation threshold reductions similar to that of methamphetamine. α‐Pyrrolidinopentiophenone (1mg/kg) produced a significant maximal reduction in intracranial self-stimulation thresholds (~19%) most similar to maximal reductions produced by methamphetamine (1mg/kg, ~20%). Maximal reductions in intracranial self-stimulation thresholds produced by 4-methyl-N-ethcathinone were observed at 30mg/kg (~15%) and were comparable with those observed with methamphetamine and α‐pyrrolidinopentiophenone tested at the 0.3-mg/kg dose (~14%). Additional analysis of the ED50 values from log-transformed data revealed the rank order potency of these drugs as methamphetamine ≈ α‐pyrrolidinopentiophenone>4-methyl-N-ethcathinone.

Conclusions: These data suggest that the newer second-generation synthetic cathinones activate the brain reward circuitry and thus may possess a similar degree of abuse potential as prototypical illicit psychostimulants such as methamphetamine as well as the first generation synthetic cathinone methylenedioxypyrovalerone, as previously reported.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2014-12-22

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Preclinical Evidence That 5-HT1B Receptor Agonists Show Promise as Medications for Psychostimulant Use Disorders

Description

Background
5-HT1B receptor agonists enhance cocaine intake during daily self-administration sessions but decrease cocaine intake when tested after prolonged abstinence. We examined if 5-HT1B receptor agonists produce similar abstinence-dependent effects

Background
5-HT1B receptor agonists enhance cocaine intake during daily self-administration sessions but decrease cocaine intake when tested after prolonged abstinence. We examined if 5-HT1B receptor agonists produce similar abstinence-dependent effects on methamphetamine intake.
Methods
Male rats were trained to self-administer methamphetamine (0.1 mg/kg, i.v.) on low (fixed ratio 5 and variable ratio 5) and high (progressive ratio) effort schedules of reinforcement until intake was stable. Rats were then tested for the effects of the selective 5-HT1B receptor agonist, CP 94,253 (5.6 or 10 mg/kg), or the less selective but clinically available 5-HT1B/1D receptor agonist, zolmitriptan (10 mg/kg), on methamphetamine self-administration both before and after a 21-day forced abstinence period during which the rats remained in their home cages.
Results
The inverted U-shaped, methamphetamine dose-response function for intake on the fixed ratio 5 schedule was shifted downward by CP 94,253 both before and after abstinence. The CP 94,253-induced decrease in methamphetamine intake was replicated in rats tested on a variable ratio 5 schedule, and the 5-HT1B receptor antagonist SB 224,289 (10 mg/kg) reversed this effect. CP 94,253 also attenuated methamphetamine intake on a progressive ratio schedule both pre- and postabstinence. Similarly, zolmitriptan attenuated methamphetamine intake on a variable ratio 5 schedule both pre- and postabstinence, and the latter effect was sustained after each of 2 more treatments given every 2 to 3 days prior to daily sessions.
Conclusions
Unlike the abstinence-dependent effect of 5-HT1B receptor agonists on cocaine intake reported previously, both CP 94,253 and zolmitriptan decreased methamphetamine intake regardless of abstinence. These findings suggest that 5-HT1B receptor agonists may have clinical efficacy for psychostimulant use disorders.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2017-04-22

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Synthetic Cathinones and Their Rewarding and Reinforcing Effects in Rodents

Description

Synthetic cathinones, colloquially referred to as “bath salts,” are derivatives of the psychoactive alkaloid cathinone found in Catha edulis (Khat). Since the mid-to-late 2000s, these amphetamine-like psychostimulants have gained popularity

Synthetic cathinones, colloquially referred to as “bath salts,” are derivatives of the psychoactive alkaloid cathinone found in Catha edulis (Khat). Since the mid-to-late 2000s, these amphetamine-like psychostimulants have gained popularity amongst drug users due to their potency, low cost, ease of procurement, and constantly evolving chemical structures. Concomitant with their increased use is the emergence of a growing collection of case reports of bizarre and dangerous behaviors, toxicity to numerous organ systems, and death. However, scientific information regarding the abuse liability of these drugs has been relatively slower to materialize. Recently we have published several studies demonstrating that laboratory rodents will readily self-administer the “first generation” synthetic cathinones methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV) and methylone via the intravenous route, in patterns similar to those of methamphetamine. Under progressive ratio schedules of reinforcement, the rank order of reinforcing efficacy of these compounds is MDPV ≥ methamphetamine > methylone. MDPV and methylone, as well as the “second generation” synthetic cathinones α-pyrrolidinovalerophenone (α-PVP) and 4-methylethcathinone (4-MEC), also dose-dependently increase brain reward function. Collectively, these findings indicate that synthetic cathinones have a high abuse and addiction potential and underscore the need for future assessment of the extent and duration of neurotoxicity induced by these emerging drugs of abuse.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2014-06-04

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Positive Allosteric Modulators of Type 5 Metabotropic Glutamate Receptors (mGluR5) and Their Therapeutic Potential for the Treatment of CNS Disorders

Description

Studies utilizing selective pharmacological antagonists or targeted gene deletion have demonstrated thattype 5 metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluR5) are critical mediators and potential therapeutic targets for the treatment of numerous disorders

Studies utilizing selective pharmacological antagonists or targeted gene deletion have demonstrated thattype 5 metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluR5) are critical mediators and potential therapeutic targets for the treatment of numerous disorders of the central nervous system (CNS), including depression, anxiety, drug addiction, chronic pain, Fragile X syndrome, Parkinson’s disease, and gastroesophageal reflux disease. However, in recent years, the development of positive allosteric modulators (PAMs) of the mGluR5 receptor have revealed that allosteric activation of this receptor may also be of potential therapeutic benefit for the treatment of other CNS disorders, including schizophrenia, cognitive deficits associated with chronic drug use, and deficits in extinction learning. Here we summarize the discovery and characterization of various mGluR5 PAMs, with an emphasis on those that are systemically active. We will also review animal studies showing that these molecules have potential efficacy as novel antipsychotic agents. Finally, we will summarize findings that suggest that mGluR5 PAMs have pro-cognitive effects such as the ability toenhance synaptic plasticity, improve performance in various learning and memory tasks, including extinction of drug-seeking behavior, and reverse cognitive deficits produced by chronic drug use.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2011-03-02

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NMDA Receptor Modulators in the Treatment of Drug Addiction

Description

Glutamate plays a pivotal role in drug addiction, and the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) glutamate receptor subtype serves as a molecular target for several drugs of abuse. In this review, we will

Glutamate plays a pivotal role in drug addiction, and the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) glutamate receptor subtype serves as a molecular target for several drugs of abuse. In this review, we will provide an overview of NMDA receptor structure and function, followed by a review of the mechanism of action, clinical efficacy, and side effect profile of NMDA receptor ligands that are currently in use or being explored for the treatment of drug addiction. These ligands include the NMDA receptor modulators memantine and acamprosate, as well as the partial NMDA agonist D-cycloserine. Data collected to date suggest that direct NMDA receptor modulators have relatively limited efficacy in the treatment of drug addiction, and that partial agonism of NMDA receptors may have some efficacy with regards to extinction learning during cue exposure therapy. However, the lack of consistency in results to date clearly indicates that additional studies are needed, as are studies examining novel ligands with indirect mechanisms for altering NMDA receptor function.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2013-02-06