Drugs, Dopamine, and Disposition

Science  02 Mar 2007:
Vol. 315, Issue 5816, pp. 1189i
DOI: 10.1126/science.315.5816.1189i

Individual differences in drug abuse reflect distinct behavioral and physiological traits. Dalley et al. (p. 1267) found that, compared to controls, spontaneously impulsive rats had decreased dopamine D2/3 receptors in the nucleus accumbens even before exposure to cocaine. Trait impulsivity in rats was predictive of subsequent high rates of intravenous cocaine self-administration. Impulsivity is thus an important mediator of drug abuse vulnerability and not a consequence of chronic drug exposure.

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