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Addiction Research at Texas Tech

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>>Allison Hirth: THIS IS AN fMRI MACHINE, OR FUNCTIONAL MAGNETIC RESONANCE IMAGING MACHINE IT MEASURES BRAIN ACTIVITY, AND IS USED FOR MANY DIFFERENT REASONS

IN THIS CASE, ADDICTION RECOVERY RESEARCH Sterling Shumway: This is the next step in our neuroscience research that we've been doing, to look at family members and their brain, after dealing and coping with a family member who's been struggling with addiction for a long period of time STERLING SHUMWAY IS CHAIR OF THE DEPARTMENT OF COMMUNITY, FAMILY AND ADDICTION SCIENCES HE, ALONG WITH SPENCER BRADSHAW, ARE LEADING THE CHARGE TO FOCUS ON FAMILY MEMBERS OF THOSE STRUGGLING WITH A SUBSTANCE USE DISORDER, TRYING TO FIGURE OUT WHETHER THEIR BRAINS ARE EQUALLY IMPAIRED AFTER YEARS OF COLLECTING DATA ON THE FRONT PART OF THE BRAIN, USING AN F NEAR DEVICE, THEY'RE TURNING TO THE fMRI MACHINE TO DIG DEEPER INTO THE MIDBRAIN

Spencer Bradshaw: Looking at the structure, its connections with each other, and then are they being used? Are they functioning the way that we think they're supposed to be functioning? THEY'LL SCAN THE BRAINS OF THE ADDICTED PERSONS, THEIR FAMILY MEMBERS AND A CONTROL GROUP, PROVIDING PLENTY OF INFORMATION FOR COMPARISON Shumway: With family members, right? What we believe happens is, particularly those that have been involved in the fight the longest trying to keep their loved one alive, we believe that their midbrain begins to scream at them, and they begin to make less rational choices and decisions at the level of the frontal cortex In other words, they're reacting to keep their loved one alive It may not do any good, they may know it's not going to do any good, but they're gonna do it anyway Just like the addict and alcoholic is going to do the drugs anyway, because the midbrain is pushing them to do it

ABOUT A DOZEN STUDENTS, BOTH UNDERGRADUATE AND GRADUATE, WILL WORK WITH SHUMWAY AND BRADSHAW ON THE PROJECT, ONE THAT WOULDN'T BE POSSIBLE WITHOUT THE TECHNOLOGY AVAILABLE HERE AT TEXAS TECH Bradshaw: A lot of universities don't have this resource We're lucky to have the Texas Tech Neuroimaging Institute here AFTER THE SCANS ARE REVIEWED, THE TEAM HOPES TO LEARN MORE ABOUT A DISEASE THAT'S AFFECTED SO MANY Bradshaw: Research shows that when family members are impacted by the stress of addiction, they go to the doctor more often, they have higher medical claims and services, they get diagnosed with higher rates of depression, Shumway: So when family members can find health and wellness, then I think what it does is it enhances the chance of the person who's struggling, finding health and wellness and then they can be helpful to each other

FOR TEXAS TECH TODAY, I'M ALLISON HIRTH

Source: Youtube

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