NeuroScene

Nora Volkow: The Neuroscience of Addiction

For many years, drug addictions were deemed to be largely behavioral disorders once the abuser went through a period of detoxification.  But advanced imaging technologies have now indicated that addiction is a physical process that occurs in addition to physical dependency.  Indeed, there is more and more evidence that drugs of abuse disrupt several areas of the brain beyond just the dopamine system – which would explain why addictions are so hard to break.

In this podcast, we speak with Dr. Nora Volkow*, the director at the National Institute on Drug Abuse and one of the leading scientists in the area of addiction research.  Be sure to listen in as we talk about the key brain systems involved with the addiction process and how this translates to larger public health issues such as substances abuse, obesity, and even managing the human aging process.

* Dr. Volkow will be presenting a special lecture on “Addiction and Self-Control” at this year’s Neuroscience 2009 event here in Chicago.

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