Lecture – What Opioids Do to the Brain, and What the Brain Will Do for Opioids

Available with English captions.

The Jack H. Mendelson Memorial Research Award – Elena H. Chartoff, PhD, McLean Hospital

Chartoff traces the course of her research thus far into how exposure to opioids such as morphine and oxycodone alter molecular and behavioral function such that fundamental reward and motivational processes are altered. An emerging focus on the effects of opioids in both males and females is presented as well, demonstrating that inherent sex-based differences can modulate addictive-like behavior.

Presentation highlights include:

  • Discussion of the intracellular molecular changes that occur in the brain due to chronic opioid use
  • Explanation of how withdrawal from chronic opioids produces anhedonia, and possible neuronal mechanisms
  • Description of some of the putative sex differences in opioid behavioral effects

Read more about Chartoff’s opioid research.