Dr. Nora Volkow

Brain images showing decreased dopamine2 receptors in the brain of a person addicted to cocaine versus a nondrug user. The dopamine system is important for conditioning and motivation, and alterations such as this are likely responsible, in part, for the diminished sensitivity to natural rewards that develops with addiction. 
 - Photo courtesy National Institutes of Health

Brain images showing decreased dopamine2 receptors in the brain of a person addicted to cocaine versus a nondrug user. The dopamine system is important for conditioning and motivation, and alterations such as this are likely responsible, in part, for the diminished sensitivity to natural rewards that develops with addiction.

Dr. Nora Volkow

The director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse on addiction and efforts to cure it.

Dr. Nora Volkow is the director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse at the National Institutes of Health. She studies how drugs affect the human brain. A leading research psychiatrist and scientist, Volkow sees addiction as a disease, not a moral failing. Her research has also led her to discover parallels between substance abuse and obesity. For example, a person who overeats often experiences similar changes in brain activity and behavior as that of an addict. Volkow’s family history is as intriguing as her work: She is the great-granddaughter of Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky and grew up in the house where he was assassinated. Dr. Volkow talks about addiction and her efforts to cure it.

Guests

Dr. Nora Volkow

director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse of NIH

Please familiarize yourself with our Code of Conduct and Terms of Use before posting your comments.

Our address has changed!

The Diane Rehm Show is produced by member-supported WAMU 88.5 in Washington DC.