New NIH-funded study to identify risks for vulnerability to drug addiction

August 23, 2016

BINGHAMTON, NY - A new study aims to better understand what makes some individuals particularly vulnerable to developing drug addiction. A team of researchers from across the country will look at how genes that influence brain function cause risk for addictions.

J. David Jentsch, Empire Innovation Professor of psychology at Binghamton University, is part of the team of investigators awarded a new grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to conduct the research.

The five-year NIH grant totaling $11,714,623 was awarded to The Jackson Laboratory to create a new Center for Systems Neurogenetics of Addiction (CSNA). The new award will support a team of researchers from across the country that will collaboratively study how genes that influence brain function cause risk for addictions. Jentsch, is part of the team of investigators that will be leading the CSNA, with a key part of the work occurring in his lab.

For nearly 20 years, Jentsch's research has focused on the neurobiology of self-control, an ability that is compromised in people suffering from addictions.

"An individual's capacity for self control may explain the difference between those that can use drugs for a while and yet successfully quit and those that get trapped into the cycles of addiction. It is critical to understand the brain systems that make good self control possible so that we can aid people who are motivated to quit but lack the ability to do so," said Jentsch.

As part of the new research effort, he and his team will use state-of-the-art mouse models to identify the specific genes and gene pathways that contribute to poor self-control and associated risk for addictions. This work will be integrated with the efforts made by others in the collaborative group who are studying other facets of addiction vulnerability.

"Today, a key focus in treatment is to reverse or minimize the harm of an already established addiction. Ideally, we would like to identify people that are at risk and prevent their development of an addiction before it leaves its indelible mark on them. This research program advances that mission, and through its collaborative synergy, it stands an excellent chance of success," said Jentsch.
-end-


Binghamton University

Related Addiction Articles from Brightsurf:

Opioid addiction treatment is more widely available, but only for adults
Primary care providers have expanded access to buprenorphine for adults, but use of the opioid addiction treatment has decreased among the youngest patients, find researchers at Columbia University.

Is video game addiction real?
A recent six-year study, the longest study ever done on video game addiction, found that about 90% of gamers do not play in a way that is harmful or causes negative long-term consequences.

Eating disorders linked to exercise addiction
New research shows that exercise addiction is nearly four times more common amongst people with an eating disorder.

Co-addiction of meth and opioids hinders treatment
A study published in the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment found that methamphetamine use was associated with more than twice the risk for dropping out of treatment for opioid-use disorder.

New tool to assess digital addiction in children
A new study developed and validated a tool for assessing children's overall addiction to digital devices.

Addiction intervention in hospital is a 'reachable moment'
Patients who meet an addiction medicine consult team while they're in the hospital are twice as likely to participate in treatment for substance use disorder after they go home, according to new research.

How stress leads to Facebook addiction
Friends on social media such as Facebook can be a great source of comfort during periods of stress.

Systematic review of food addiction as measured with the Yale Food Addiction Scale
The aim of this paper was to review the clinical significance of food addiction diagnoses made with the Yale Food Addiction Scale (YFAS) and to discuss the results in light of the current debate on behavioral addictions.

Drugs of abuse: Identifying the addiction circuit
What happens in the brain of a compulsive drug user?

Pancreatic cancer's addiction could be its end
Researchers at CSHL have discovered that an inappropriately produced protein may be why some pancreatic cancer patients die exceptionally early.

Read More: Addiction News and Addiction Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.