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LearningLife Course Examines Addiction

Constant Craving: Of Neuroscience and Addiction

Mark Thomas of Constant Craving

In conjunction with Brain Awareness Week (March 11−17), LearningLife is teaming up with University of Minnesota neuroscientists to explore the common features of addiction in a three-session course offered in spring 2019. More than 20 million people—that’s about one in seven Americans—has suffered a substance use disorder at some point in their lives, a condition that wreaks havoc on individuals, families, and communities.

The five course instructors are a cross-disciplinary sampling of the neuroscientific research community at the University, each looking for “circuit breakers”: mechanisms that can interrupt the addiction response in the brain.

“If you understand the circuit, you know where to intervene,” says Dr. Mark Thomas, the scientific director of the Medical Discovery Team on Addiction and the lead instructor for the course. His team is working to find the “switch” in the brain that can turn off relapse behavior.

Constant Craving: Of Neuroscience and Addiction begins March 13.

Published on February 12, 2019