Scientists identify new brain mechanism involved in impulsive cocaine-seeking in rats

Researchers have found that blocking certain acetylcholine receptors in the lateral habenula (LHb), an area of the brain that balances reward and aversion, made it harder to resist seeking cocaine in a rat model of impulsive behavior. These findings identify a new role for these receptors that may represent a future target for the development of treatments for cocaine use disorder. There are currently no approved medications to treat cocaine use disorder.

Children’s mental health visits to emergency departments increased during COVID-19 pandemic

In the Chicago area, pediatric mental health Emergency Department (ED) visits increased 27 percent at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, followed by a 4 percent increase monthly through February 2021, according to a study from Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago published in the journal Academic Pediatrics. The authors found increased ED visits for suicide, self-injury and disruptive behaviors, as well as higher admission rates for these children.