Integrated stepped alcohol treatment for people in HIV care improves both HIV and alcohol outcomes

New clinical research supported by the National Institutes of Health shows that increasing the intensity of treatment for alcohol use disorder (AUD) over time improves alcohol-related outcomes among people with HIV. This stepped approach to AUD treatment also improves HIV-related disease measures in this patient population.  A report of the new study, led by researchers … Read more

NIH-funded rodent study finds molecular link between adolescent alcohol use and adult anxiety

Wine glass and beer bottle over brain graphic

New preclinical research in rats has identified a link between adolescent alcohol exposure and specific molecular changes in the brain that contribute to increased anxiety in adulthood. A large body of evidence demonstrates a strong relationship between alcohol and anxiety problems in humans. “These findings provide insight into the mechanisms through which alcohol-induced brain changes … Read more

NIH study of brain energy patterns provides new insights into alcohol effects

Image of brain scans

Assessing the patterns of energy use and neuronal activity simultaneously in the human brain improves our understanding of how alcohol affects the brain, according to new research by scientists at the National Institutes of Health. The new approach for characterizing brain energetic patterns could also be useful for studying other neuropsychiatric diseases. A report of … Read more

Researchers identify key brain circuits for reward-seeking and avoidance behavior

microscopy image of a rodent brain cross-section; pathways in the extended amygdala related to reward-seeking and aversion are labeled in fluorescent green

Previously unrecognized pathways in mice have relevance for mental health and addiction research Researchers have identified connections between neurons in brain systems associated with reward, stress, and emotion. Conducted in mice, the new study may help untangle multiple psychiatric conditions, including alcohol use disorder, anxiety disorders, insomnia, and depression in humans. “Understanding these intricate brain … Read more

Lack of sleep may be linked to risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease

Illustration of beta-amyloid accumulation

Preliminary NIH study shows increased levels of beta-amyloid Losing just one night of sleep led to an immediate increase in beta-amyloid, a protein in the brain associated with Alzheimer’s disease, according to a small, new study by researchers at the National Institutes of Health. In Alzheimer’s disease, beta-amyloid proteins clump together to form amyloid plaques, … Read more