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Brain plasticity in drug addiction: Burden and benefit - Harvard Health Blog

Brain plasticity in drug addiction: Burden and benefit: #HarvardHealth

6/28/2020 4:00:00 PM

Brain plasticity in drug addiction: Burden and benefit: HarvardHealth

The brain's neuroplasticity—its ability to adapt and change—makes it possible for us to learn new skills and solve complex problems, but it also makes some people more vulnerable to the consequences of substance use disorders. This same ability also makes it possible for a person to make cognitive modifications in order to change an addictive behavior

Posted June 26, 2020, 6:30 amMaria Mavrikaki, PhDContributorThe human brain is the most complex organ in our body, and is characterized by a unique ability called neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity refers to our brain’s ability to change and adapt in its structural and functional levels in response to experience. Neuroplasticity makes it possible for us to learn new languages, solve complex mathematical problems, acquire technical skills, and perform challenging athletic skills, which are all positive and advantageous for us. However, neuroplasticity is not beneficial if we develop non-advantageous learned behaviors. One example of non-advantageous learning is habitual drug misuse that can lead to addiction.

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Our brain learns to respond to drugs of abuseOur first decision to use a drug may be triggered by curiosity, circumstances, personality, and stressful life events. This first drug exposure increases the release of a molecule (neurotransmitter) called dopamine, which conveys the feeling of reward. The increased changes in dopamine levels in the brain reward system can lead to further neuroplasticity following repeated exposure to drugs of abuse; these neuroplasticity changes are also fundamental characteristics of learning. Experience-dependent learning, including repeated drug use, might increase or decrease the transmission of signals between neurons. Neuroplasticity in the brain’s reward system following repeated drug use leads to more habitual and (in vulnerable people) more compulsive drug use, where people ignore the negative consequences. Thus, repeated exposure to drugs of abuse creates experience-dependent learning and related brain changes, which can lead to maladaptive patterns of drug use.

Views on addiction: Learning and diseaseA recentproposed by Dr. Marc Lewis inNew England Journal of Medicinehighlights the evidence of brain changes in drug addiction, and explains those changes as normal, habitual learning without referring to pathology or disease. This learning model accepts that drug addiction is disadvantageous, but believes it is a natural and context-sensitive response to challenging environmental circumstances. Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), and many addiction researchers and clinicians,

view addiction as a brain diseasetriggered by many genetic, environmental, and social factors. NIDA uses the term “addiction” to describe the most severe and chronic form of substance use disorder that is characterized by changes in the brain’s reward, stress, and self-control systems. Importantly, both learning and brain disease models accept that addiction is treatable, as our brain is plastic.

We can adapt to new learned behaviorsOur brain’s plastic nature suggests that we can change our behaviors throughout our lives by learning new skills and habits. Learning models support that overcoming addiction can be facilitated by adopting new cognitive modifications. Learning models suggest pursing counseling or psychotherapy, including approaches such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which can help a person modify their habits. NIDA suggests that, for some people, medications (also called medication-assisted treatment or MAT) can help people manage symptoms to a level that helps them pursue recovery via strategies such as counseling and behavioral therapies, including CBT. Many people use a

of medications, behavioral therapies, and support groups to maintain recovery from addition.Neuroplasticity can help us modify behaviors relevant to addictionCBT is an example of a learning-based therapeutic intervention; thus, it utilizes neuroplasticity. Scientific evidence suggests that CBT, alone or in combination with other treatment strategies, can be effective intervention for substance use disorders. CBT teaches a person to recognize, avoid, and learn to handle situations when they would be likely to use drugs. Another example of evidence-based behavioral therapy that has been shown to be effective for substance use disorders is

contingency management. Contingency management provides a reward (such as vouchers redeemable for goods or movie passes) to individuals undergoing addiction treatment, to reinforce positive behaviors such as abstinence. This approach is based on operant conditioning theory, a form of learning, where a behavior that is positively reinforced tends to be repeated. Overall, multiple evidence-based approaches are used for the treatment of substance use disorders that require learning and utilize neuroplasticity.

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The bottom lineOur brain is plastic, and this trait helps us learn new skills and retrain our brain. As the brain can change in a negative way as observed in drug addiction, the brain can also change in a positive way when we adopt skills learned in therapy and form new, healthier habits.

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'Our brain is plastic, and this trait helps us learn new skills and retrain our brain. As the brain can change in a negative way as observed in drug addiction, the brain can also change in a positive way when we adopt skills learned in therapy and form new, healthier habits' ALLAH O AKBAR Which drugs?

drug, sugar, booze it's all addicting

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Study Finds Only 1 In 3 Lasik Surgeries End In Laser Boring Through Eye, Incinerating Brain, Shooting Through Skull On Other SideCHICAGO—Assuaging concerns about the safety of the corrective eye treatment, a study published Monday in The Journal Of The American Medical Association found that only 1 in 3 Lasik surgeries end in the laser boring through the eyes, incinerating the brain, and shooting through the skull on the other side. “Our research found that the fears of people considering a Lasik procedure were generally exaggerated, with only one-third experiencing a searing beam of light that drills through their eyeball, reduces their brain to cinders, and then bursts through the back of their head,” said lead author Dr. Roger Cardenas, noting that apprehensions about the likelihood of having the contents of one’s brain instantly vaporized often overshadowed the fact that roughly 66 percent of patients who underwent Lasik enjoyed greatly improved vision. “This isn’t to say there is no risk, however, and people should weigh the benefits of never again having to wear glasses or contacts against the possibility that the laser will puncture their retina, liquify all their cerebral matter, explode through their head, and continue straight through the wall behind them.” Cardenas also clarified that Lasik surgery was different from cataract surgery, which uses suction to remove the clouded-over lens and which vacuums up both eyes and the nose nearly half the time. But what are some of the side effects? 66.6% success rate Isn't that right Dominic__Noble?

Autoimmune lung disease: Early recognition and treatment helps - Harvard Health BlogAutoimmune diseases occur when the body generates an immune response against itself. Some people with rheumatic or autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus, develop an autoimmune lung disease. Marked by lung inflammation and possible scarring, it is easier to treat if detected early. So: SciTechnology or any idiot that promisea for miracle by his Sci-ignorance? Rethoric issue🤩⭐️🤩

Past trauma may haunt your future health - Harvard HealthPeople who have experienced traumatic events are at higher risk for a number of chronic conditions, including heart disease. Risk is particularly high for those who experienced multiple adverse childhood events. Therapy can help people move past trau... Double whammy. Tragic. ... not news ... It is proven that distress not distress is hurtfull.. usually it is caused by completely preventable circumstances on the part of another person or persons with intent to harm without punching.

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