Addiction as a Brain Disease: What Does it Mean?

Wednesday, August 19, 2015
Addiction as a Brain Disease: What Does it Mean?

View the entire webinar recording below. Click here for an article summarizing the information presented by Dr. Volkow in this webinar.

Watch Video Recording:

Presented by 
Nora D. Volkow, M.D.
Nora D. Volkow, M.D.
National Institutes on Health

Director, National Institute of Drug Abuse

Scientific Council Member (Joined 2001)


Dr. Volkow pioneered the use of brain imaging to investigate the effects of drugs in the human brain and has demonstrated that drug addiction is a brain disease. She has documented a decrease in function of the dopamine system in addicted subjects and disruption in function of frontal brain regions involved in motivation and drive. Other areas of Dr. Volkow’s research include the neurochemical mechanisms responsible for variability in response to drugs among individuals; the rewarding and therapeutic effects of drugs; and changes in the dopamine system that occur with aging. She has shown that loss of dopamine brain function with age even in healthy subjects with no neurological dysfunction is associated with motor slowing and changes in cognitive task ability. She is currently focusing on strategies to minimize these losses.

Dr. Volkow was named one of Time magazine’s “Top 100 People Who Shape our World”, included as “One of the 20 People to Watch” by Newsweek magazine and named “Innovator of the Year” by U.S. News & World Report.

Meet the Scientist Webinar

Addiction as a Brain Disease: What Does it Mean?

Moderated by
Jeffrey Borenstein, M.D.
Brain & Behavior Research Foundation

Jeffrey Borenstein, M.D., serves as the President & CEO of the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation, the largest private funder of mental health research grants. Dr. Borenstein developed the Emmy-nominated public television program “Healthy Minds,” and serves as host and executive producer of the series. The program, broadcast nationwide, is available online, and focuses on topics in psychiatry in order to educate the public, reduce stigma and offer a message of hope. Dr. Borenstein served as Editor-in-Chief of Psychiatric News, the newspaper of the American Psychiatric Association from 2012 - 2023.

Dr. Borenstein is a Fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine and serves as the Chair of the Section of Psychiatry at the Academy. He also has served as the President of the New York State Psychiatric Association. Dr. Borenstein earned his undergraduate degree at Harvard and his medical degree at New York University.