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Neuropsychopharmacology. 1994 Oct;11(2):77-87.

Molecular neurobiology of drug addiction.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut.


The purpose of this review is to illustrate the ways in which molecular neurobiological investigations will contribute to an improved understanding of drug addiction and, ultimately, to the development of more effective treatments. Such molecular studies of drug addiction are needed to establish two general types of information: (1) mechanisms of pathophysiology, identification of the changes that drugs of abuse produce in the brain that lead to addiction; and (2) mechanisms of individual risk, identification of specific genetic and environmental factors that increase or decrease an individual's vulnerability for addiction. This information will one day lead to fundamentally new approaches to the treatment and prevention of addictive disorders.

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