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Séminaire - Miriam MELIS

Abstract :

 She received the degree in Pharmacy at the University of Palermo (Italy) in 1993, and trained inin vivo electrophysiology at the Department of Neuroscience “Bernard B. Brodie” (University of Cagliari, Italy) under the mentorship of GianLuigi Gessa in the lab led by Marco Diana, whose team focused on the understanding of cellular basis of acute and chronic effects of drugs of abuse on reward dopamine neurons. They discovered that the psychoactive ingredient of marijuana (THC) acts on these neurons similarly to alcohol and morphine. In fact, they provided for the first time electrophysiological evidence for the mechanisms of both THC acute recreational effects (Gessa et al., 1998; Diana et al., 1998a), and the state of dysphoria during withdrawal from its chronic use (Diana et al., 1998b). These studies laid the foundations for postulating the state of hypo-dopaminergia following chronic drug use (Melis et al., 2005), which subsequently was discovered also in addicted humans....