Psychostimulants Hinder Sleep And Memory With Little Benefit

student adhd
Taking nonprescribed psychostimulants may slightly improve a person’s short-term focus but impede sleep and mental functions that rely on it — such as working memory. The use of prescription stimulants by those without medically diagnosed conditions marks a growing trend among young adults — particularly college students seeking a brain boost. “Healthy individuals who use …

Without ADHD, Adderall Does Not Improve Cognition

student adhd
ADHD drugs don’t improve cognition of college students who don’t have the condition, a small pilot study suggests. Not only that, but taking them could actually impair functioning, say researchers, who expected different results. “We hypothesized that Adderall would enhance cognition in the healthy students, but instead, the medication did not improve reading comprehension or …

Cocaine Use Linked To Altered Gene Expression In Brain Reward Circuits

brain circuits
Distinct genetic changes in the brain's reward circuitry are associated with cocaine use, including first-time use, withdrawal, and re-exposure to the drug after prolonged withdrawal, a new study indicates. The findings represent important information on how cocaine addiction reprograms gene expression and provide insight into the molecular basis of cocaine addiction in unprecedented detail. In …

Epigenetic Factors Play Role In Drug Addiction Relapse

epigenetics addiction relapse
Epigenetic factors — enzymes in the brain that alter the packaging and accessibility of genes without changing the genes themselves — have an influence on relapse risk in drug users who attempt to quit, according to research from the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC). There are notable features of the early drug-using environment that …

Blunted Stress Response Linked To Chronic Cannabis Use

epigenetics stress
A dampened physiological response to stress in chronic cannabis users has been found in a new study by Washington State University psychology researchers. The findings are consistent with a growing body of literature that indicates chronic cannabis use is associated with dulled adrenal and emotional reactivity. Using a nationally recognized procedure designed to provoke elevated …

Recreational Ritalin Use Alters Dopamine Neurochemistry

ritalin
For young people who don’t have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, recreationally taking Ritalin may lead to changes in brain chemistry associated with risk-taking behavior, sleep disruption, and other undesirable effects, a new study suggests. Ritalin, the brand name for methylphenidate, a central nervous system stimulant used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), is a …