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Medical News & Perspectives
April 4, 2007

Brain Scans, Genes Provide Addiction Clues

JAMA. 2007;297(13):1419-1421. doi:10.1001/jama.297.13.1419

Scientists using advanced brain imaging and genetic testing to probe the physiological basis of addiction are gleaning new insights into these disorders and how to treat them.

A symposium sponsored by Brookhaven National Laboratory (Upton, NY), held in conjunction with the American Association for the Advancement of Science's annual meeting in San Francisco in February, highlighted several advances in addiction science made over the past year. Researchers presented findings from brain imaging studies revealing the importance of memory and drug-related cues in addiction, the role of monoamine oxidase–inhibiting compounds in cigarette smoking, the damage to inhibitory controls caused by methamphetamine use, as well as results from studies suggesting that genomics could be used to better tailor addiction therapies.