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Fall 2017

Inquiry Magazine Archive

  • Winter 2016

    Winter 2016: Energy Evolution

    From carbon dioxide conversion to landfill mining, researchers at UTA are seeking viable alternative energy options.

  • Spring 2016

    Spring 2016: Premium Blend

    Found in everything from space shuttles to dental fillings, composite materials have thoroughly infiltrated modern society. But their potential is still greatly untapped, offering researchers ample opportunity for discovery.

  • Fall 2015

    Fall 2015: Collision Course

    Within the particle showers created at the Large Hadron Collider, answers to some of the universe’s mysteries are waiting.

  • Spring 2015

    Spring 2015: Almost Human

    Model systems like pigeons can help illuminate our own evolutionary and genomic history.

  • Fall 2014

    Fall 2014: Small Wonder

    UT Arlington's tiny windmills are bringing renewable energy to a whole new scale.

  • Winter 2014

    Winter 2014: Overdue for an Overhaul

    The stability of our highways, pipelines, and even manholes is reaching a breaking point.

  • 2012

    2012: Mystery solved?

    Scientists believe they have discovered a subatomic particle that is crucial to understanding the universe.

  • 2011

    2011: Boosting brain power

    UT Arlington researchers unlock clues to the human body’s most mysterious and complex organ.

  • 2010

    2010: Powered by genetics

    UT Arlington researchers probe the hidden world of microbes in search of renewable energy sources.

  • 2009

    2009: Winning the battle against pain

    Wounded soldiers are benefiting from Robert Gatchel’s program that combines physical rehabilitation with treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder.

  • 2009

    2007: Sensing a solution

    Tiny sensors implanted in the body show promise in combating acid reflux disease, pain and other health problems.

  • 2006

    2006:Semiconductors: The next generation

    Nanotechnology researchers pursue hybrid silicon chips with life-saving potential.

  • 2005

    2005: Imaging is everything

    Biomedical engineers combat diseases with procedures that are painless to patients.


Hormone Hazard

Psychologist wins NIH grant to investigate the link between estrogen levels and cocaine addiction 

Hormone Hazard

Linda Perrotti believes that fluctuating estrogen levels can make women increasingly vulnerable to the rewarding effects of cocaine, even opening them up to a risk of addiction.

The associate professor of psychology received a three-year, $413,980 grant from the National Institutes of Health to fund biomolecular research on the effects of changing hormone levels on behavioral adaptations. She and her team are using rodent models to focus on three specific molecules associated with drug addiction and reward.

The repeated administration of cocaine causes molecular adaptations in the brain, which trigger changes in behavior that are focused on obtaining more cocaine. These neuroadaptations primarily affect the dopamine reward system; long-term exposure to the drug can make these changes permanent, causing the individual to develop a neurobiological disposition to seeking cocaine.

Dr. Perrotti and her team’s preclinical work suggested that women given hormone treatment preferred higher doses of cocaine; this could indicate that estrogen alters dopamine signaling and influences the strength of cocaine-associated clues.

“We need to find out how it affects learning and memory circuits, making drugs more or less rewarding,” she says. “Compared to men, women experience higher levels of craving and relapse during periods of abstinence and take larger amounts of cocaine during bouts of relapse. Our study could lead to customizable and differentiated addiction treatment and prevention measures for post-menopausal women, women on hormone replacement therapy, women on hormone-based birth control, etc.”

Photograph by Crystal L. Daniel/EyeEm


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