Matching Items (4)

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The role of nucleus accumbens NMDA receptors on rapid, transient synaptic plasticity induced by cued nicotine reinstatement

Description

Nicotine use is an outstanding public health problem with associated social and economic consequences. Nicotine is an active alkaloid compound in tobacco and is recognized as a psychoactive drug. Preclinically,

Nicotine use is an outstanding public health problem with associated social and economic consequences. Nicotine is an active alkaloid compound in tobacco and is recognized as a psychoactive drug. Preclinically, nicotine addiction and relapse can be modeled using a self-administration-reinstatement paradigm. Here, we used a nicotine self-administration and contingent cue-induced reinstatement model to examine rapid, transient synaptic plasticity (t-SP) induced by nicotine cue-triggered motivation. Although preliminary, treatment with the NMDA GluN2B subunit antagonist, ifenprodil, reduced reinstated nicotine seeking, and increased the percentage of spines with smaller head diameters. Thus, future studies are needed to fully parse out the role of NAcore GluN2B receptors in cued nicotine seeking and t-SP.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2017-05

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Paradox of Healing and Stigmatization: A Study of Mental Health Stigma in Arab Culture

Description

While the concept of healthcare is largely respected in Arab culture, the stigma underlying mental health is particularly startling. This study examined the differences in mental health treatment-seeking behaviors using

While the concept of healthcare is largely respected in Arab culture, the stigma underlying mental health is particularly startling. This study examined the differences in mental health treatment-seeking behaviors using data from Arabs living in Syria (12.9%) and Arabs (25.6%) and non-Arabs (61.5%) living in the United States of ages 18-60. A Web-based survey was developed to understand how factors like religiosity, acculturation, and positive attitudes towards psychological treatment increased help-seeking behaviors. This survey was also provided in Arabic to include non-English speaking participants. It was hypothesized that Arab-American individuals will be more open to pursuing professional psychological help when suffering from mental symptomology (i.e. anxiety) than individuals who identified as Syrian-Arabs. In contrast, both Syrian-Arabs and Arab-Americans would definitely pursue professional help when suffering from physical symptomology (i.e. ankle sprain). Striking differences were found based on Western acculturation. Findings suggested that Arab-Americans were less inclined towards treatment and more trusting of an in-group physician ("Dr. Ahmed") whereas Syrian-Arabs were more inclined to pursue psychological treatment and preferred to trust an out-group physician ("Dr. Smith"). The results of this study identify main concerns regarding Arab attitudes towards seeking mental health treatment, which can better inform future research and mental health services for this minority.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2015-05

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The Therapeutic Potential of Serotonin 1B Receptor Agonists for Treating Psychostimulant Use Disorders

Description

Serotonin 1B receptor (5-HT1BR) agonists enhance cocaine intake in rats during daily self-administration (SA) sessions, yet decrease cocaine intake after prolonged abstinence. The goal of my dissertation was to examine

Serotonin 1B receptor (5-HT1BR) agonists enhance cocaine intake in rats during daily self-administration (SA) sessions, yet decrease cocaine intake after prolonged abstinence. The goal of my dissertation was to examine if 5-HT1BRs are suitable targets for treatment development to attenuate psychostimulant intake. I first investigated if 5-HT1BR agonist effects that had been observed with cocaine generalize across psychostimulants, i.e., methamphetamine. Rats trained to self-administer methamphetamine received either CP 94,253 or the clinically-available but less selective 5-HT1D/1BR agonist, zolmitriptan, prior to tests for effects on SA both before and after a 21-day abstinence period. I found that CP 94,253 and zolmitriptan decreased the reinforcing and incentive motivational effects of methamphetamine, regardless of abstinence, unlike the pre-abstinence increase in cocaine SA observed previously with 5-HT1BR agonists. The attenuating effects of CP 94,253 on methamphetamine were antagonized in a 5-HT1BR-mediated manner. Subsequently, I investigated the efficacy and mechanism involved in effects of zolmitriptan on cocaine SA in male and female rats. Rats trained to self-administer cocaine received zolmitriptan prior to tests for effects on SA before a 21-day abstinence period. I found that zolmitriptan decreased cocaine intake in both sexes regardless of abstinence and without altering sucrose intake. I further demonstrated that the zolmitriptan effects on cocaine SA were mediated by both 5-HT1BRs and 5-HT1DRs. Finally, I examined if the abstinence-induced decrease in cocaine intake observed with the selective 5-HT1BR agonist, CP 94,253, persists during relapse after abstinence or reverts to enhancing cocaine intake, similar to effects observed without an abstinence period. Rats trained to self-administer cocaine resumed daily cocaine SA sessions after the forced abstinence period to investigate the effects of CP 94,253 on cocaine relapse. I found that CP 94,253 attenuated cocaine intake in relapse tests, suggesting that the abstinence-dependent attenuation of CP 94,253 on cocaine SA remains even after resumption of daily cocaine intake. The findings suggest that 5-HT1BR agonists like CP 94,253 and zolmitriptan have clinical potential as treatments for psychostimulant use disorders.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2020

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Individual differences in subjective response to alcohol: pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic factors

Description

Variability in subjective response to alcohol has been shown to predict drinking behavior as well as the development of alcohol use disorders. The current study examined the extent to

Variability in subjective response to alcohol has been shown to predict drinking behavior as well as the development of alcohol use disorders. The current study examined the extent to which individual differences in alcohol pharmacokinetics impact subjective response and drinking behavior during a single session alcohol administration paradigm. Participants (N = 98) completed measures of subjective response at two time points following alcohol consumption. Pharmacokinetic properties (rate of absorption and metabolism) were inferred using multiple BAC readings to calculate the area under the curve during the ascending limb for absorption and descending limb for metabolism. Following the completion of the subjective response measures, an ad-libitum taste rating task was implemented in which participants were permitted to consume additional alcoholic beverages. The amount consumed during the taste rating task served as the primary outcome variable. Results of the study indicated that participants who metabolized alcohol more quickly maintained a greater level of subjective stimulation as blood alcohol levels declined and reported greater reductions in subjective sedation. Although metabolism did not have a direct influence on within session alcohol consumption, a faster metabolism did relate to increased ad-libitum consumption indirectly through greater acute tolerance to sedative effects and greater maintenance of stimulant effects. Rate of absorption did not significantly predict subjective response or within session drinking. The results of the study add clarity to theories of subjective response to alcohol, and suggest that those at highest risk for alcohol problems experience a more rapid reduction in sedation following alcohol consumption while simultaneously experiencing heightened levels of stimulation. Variability in pharmacokinetics, namely how quickly one metabolizes alcohol, may be an identifiable biomarker of subjective response and may be used to infer risk for alcohol problems.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2014