Vidyya Medical News Service
Volume 5 Issue 144 Published - 14:00 UTC 08:00 EST 24-May-2003 Next Update - 14:00 UTC 08:00 EST 25-May-2003
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Behavioral treatment may reverse brain changes that occur with cocaine use and help prevent relapse
Brain changes that occur with cocaine use and the tendency toward relapse may be reduced by a behavioral treatment using extinction training--a form of conditioning that removes the reward associated with a learned behavior. NIDA-funded researchers found that extinction training during cocaine withdrawal produces changes in brain receptors for glutamate, a brain chemical found in the nucleus accumbens, the reward center of the brain. A reduction in glutamate input from cortical brain regions by chronic cocaine use is thought to contribute to persistent cravings for the drug.  more

Treatment for cocaine addiction may reduce HIV risk
Cocaine addiction has previously been linked to an increased risk of contracting HIV, mainly as a result of sharing contaminated injection equipment, unprotected sex, exchange of sex for drugs, increased sexual drive from the stimulatory effects of cocaine, and impaired judgement. Although research has indicated that patients receiving treatment for heroin addiction have a decreased risk of HIV infection, few studies have focused on changes in HIV risk following treatment for cocaine addiction. Now, NIDA-funded researchers have found more evidence that participation in cocaine treatment may reduce the risk of HIV infection. more


Study finds link between inflammatory protein and heart disease among cocaine users
Cocaine use has been associated with a number of cardiovascular complications, including artery blockages and heart attacks. In a recent study, NIDA-funded scientists have helped to identify the effects of cocaine use that may lead to heart problems.  more

Smallpox vaccine provides more protection than previously thought
Researchers at Oregon Health & Science University this week announced preliminary study results showing smallpox vaccine protection lasts longer than previously thought. Until now, it was widely accepted that smallpox vaccine protection lasted approximately three to five years. However, early study data shows that significant, partial protection may last many decades after inoculation. more

Rapid infant weight gain linked to obesity in African American young adults
African Americans who gained weight rapidly in the first four months of life were more likely than their peers to be obese as young adults, 20 years later, according to researchers from The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania. Their study, published in the June issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, analyzed data on 300 people in Philadelphia who were followed as part of a long-term, larger study from 1962 through 1989.  more

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