US Marijuana Party

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Mapping the brain

By Helen Altonn

A $3 million brain-imaging tool, a $2 million facility and two internationally renowned researchers offer hope of new solutions to substance abuse in Hawaii.

The Office of National Drug Control Policy provided funding for the high-resolution MRI system, and Queen's contributed $2 million to develop a home for it in the hospital.

"In a short time it has revolutionized the study of drug addiction," said Joseph Frascella, director of the Division of Clinical Neuroscience, Development and Behavioral Treatment at the National Institute of Drug Abuse.

"You can really watch someone think with this technique," Ernst said, showing changes in a brain scan as he played music.

Chang said the MRI will be used about 10 percent of the time to diagnose medical problems and the rest of the time for research, looking at how crystal methamphetamine and marijuana change chemicals in the brain.


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