Addiction, AIDs, and ADHD to be discussed at July 11 briefing

WHAT: A two-hour media briefing on leading edge research in brain chemistry and neuroimaging, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energys Brookhaven National Laboratory, exclusively for working journalists. Hear directly from researchers who are advancing our understanding of the neurological manifestations of addiction, AIDS, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

WHO: Nora Volkow, M.D., will discuss: The obesity-addiction link. Is there a connection between obesity and addiction? Hear about the latest research showing that obesity causes changes in brain chemistry similar to those in addiction. Get an update on current studies that may show a cause-effect relationship. Volkow will also discuss: How Ritalin works. Ritalin is prescribed for ADHD for millions of American children. Until this groundbreaking research, no one knew how it worked. Learn how Brookhaven researchers have used sophisticated brain imaging studies to show how the drug affects the brains circuitry, stimulates the dopamine system, and may actually make "boring" tasks more appealing.

Stephen Dewey, Ph.D., will discuss: A potential treatment for addiction. Hear the latest on GVG (gamma-vinyl GABA) from the researcher who has shown in animal studies that it can block both the biochemical and behavioral effects of nicotine, cocaine, alcohol, heroin, and other drugs. New research shows GVG also blocks environment-triggered cravings.

Linda Chang, M.D., will discuss: AIDS progression and the brain. Brain imaging studies are identifying how AIDS "cocktails" can slow the progression of AIDS-related cognitive disorders and are helping clinicians gain a better understanding of how they might better intervene in the course of the disease.

Chang will also discuss: Drug abuse and brain abnormalities. In these studies, methamphetamine and ecstasy use were found to cause harmful long-term changes in the brain. Learn about how drug abus

Contact: Dennis Tartaglia
DOE/Brookhaven National Laboratory

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