Seminars & Events
Friday, October 4, 2013: Dr. Laurie Ryan, SMCM '86 (National Institute on Aging) will speak on "Alzheimer's Disease: Targets and Treatments" at 3:00 pm in Goodpaster Hall 195.
Monday, October 21, 2013: Dr. Greg Elmer (University of Maryland Baltimore) will speak on "Domains and Constructs in Motivation: Where Does the Habenula Fit In?" at 4:45 pm in Goodpaster Hall 195.
Friday, October 25, 2013: Dr. Terry Davidson (American University) will speak on "Why We Overeat and Become Obese? It Could be What We Think!" at 3:00 pm in Goodpaster Hall 195.
Dr. Gwen Calhoon '06 recently received her Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the University of Maryland Baltimore, and was inducted into Nu Rho Psi.
Miller, Emily (2012). Effects of cocaine on behavior in the NVHL model of schizophrenia. (Mentor: A.M. Brady)
Elevated rates of substance abuse disorders have been observed in the schizophrenic population as compared to the general population. Two hypotheses, the self-medication hypothesis and the similar neurobiology hypothesis, have been proposed to explain this difference. Studies have shown that the drugs schizophrenic patients report using do not correlate with the symptoms they exhibit (Volkow, 2009) and that the onset of drug abuse often occurs before the onset of schizophrenia (Hambrecht & Hafner, 1996; Levander, Eberhard, & Lindstrom, 2007). Similar neurobiology would result in persons with schizophrenia having enhanced vulnerability to drug addiction (Chambers, Krystal, & Self, 2001). This study aimed to examine behavior in the NVHL model of schizophrenia during the withdrawal period following self-administration of cocaine in order to elucidate the short-term and long-term effects of cocaine on behavior in the NVHL model. If the deficits associated with this model were ameliorated by exposure to cocaine, this would have provided support for the self-medication hypothesis. However, while we were able to replicate the deficits in pre-pulse inhibition and decreased social interaction characteristic of the NVHL model, we did not observe any improvements in these deficits following exposure to cocaine. The lack of behavioral changes in NVHL animals after cocaine exposure suggests that drug abuse in patients with schizophrenia may not be an attempt to relieve their symptoms, but rather an additional symptom of schizophrenia.