Nicole L. Schramm-Sapyta

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Unpleasant side effects of drugs of abuse often limit their repeated use; however, such effects may be attenuated in adolescents compared to adults. We investigated whether the anxiogenic, aversive, or locomotor effects of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) differ between adolescent and adult rats. We used the elevated plus maze (EPM) and light-dark tests(More)
Epidemiological evidence suggests that people who begin experimenting with drugs of abuse during early adolescence are more likely to develop substance use disorders (SUDs), but this correlation does not guarantee causation. Animal models, in which age of onset can be tightly controlled, offer a platform for testing causality. Many animal models address(More)
In humans, most drug use is initiated during adolescence and adolescent users are more likely to become drug-dependent than adult users. Repeated, high levels of use are required for the transition from use to addiction. Individual levels of drug use are thought to result from a balance between the pleasant or rewarding and the unpleasant or aversive(More)
The bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST) is a key component of the CNS stress and reward circuit. Synaptic plasticity in this region could in part underlie the persistent behavioral alterations in generalized anxiety and addiction. Group I metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs) have been implicated in stress, addiction, and synaptic plasticity, but(More)
BACKGROUND Many people experiment with alcohol and other drugs of abuse during their teenage years. Epidemiological evidence suggests that younger initiates into drug taking are more likely to develop problematic drug seeking behavior, including binge and other high-intake behaviors. The level of drug intake for any individual depends on the balance of(More)
Early-onset drug taking is associated with increased likelihood of addiction, but it is unclear whether early onset is causal in development of addiction. Many other factors are associated with increased risk of addiction and also promote early intake. Here, a rodent model is used to explore the causality of early onset in development of self-administration(More)
Drugs of abuse affect behavior by altering neuronal communication within the brain. Previous research examining the effects of intraperitoneally administered cocaine has revealed that cocaine alters excitatory glutamatergic signaling, both directly through regulation of synaptic function, and indirectly through regulation of cellular excitability in areas(More)
Age of initial exposure to addictive substances is inversely proportional to risk of developing drug dependence. There is debate, however, as to whether intake at a young age causes dependency or whether young people who experiment with addictive substances are predisposed to dependency by other factors. We tested the relationship between cocaine exposure(More)
The present studies assessed the roles of sex, age, novelty-seeking and plus-maze behavior on cocaine drinking in rats. Cocaine/saccharin solution was available in three daily, 5-hour sessions then a saccharin-only solution was also available in following sessions. In the one-bottle drinking phase, early and late adolescent males, post-natal day 28 (PN28)(More)
BACKGROUND Alcohol abuse disorders emerge over time with repeated consumption of ethanol, but not all ethanol drinkers develop these disorders. There are pre-existing characteristics that indicate which drinkers are most likely to abuse alcohol. Adolescence, novelty seeking, and high stress reactivity are among the characteristics of the most vulnerable(More)