Nora Volkow, M.D.
Laboratory of Neuroimaging
6001 Executive Boulevard
Rockville, MD 20852
My laboratory uses brain imaging (PET and MRI) to study the neurocircuitry that underlies the rewarding effects of drugs of abuse and of natural reinforcers and their disruption in diseases of addiction and obesity. For this purposes it studies how reward circuits modulate executive function (self-control), interoception, and motivation in the normal human brain including an understanding of the role of brain dopamine signaling, functional brain network interactions and genetics (Dr Elena Shumai). It evaluates the disruption of these interactions in addiction, morbid obesity (Dr Gene-Jack Wang) and ADHD, which are disorders characterized by deficits in self-control and reward sensitivity. It also focuses on methodological studies to advance the tools to study function of the human brain including development of PET radiotracers (Dr Sunny Kim), which is focused on the development of ligands to map epigenetic processes, development of analytical tools (Dr Dardo Tomasi) to help analyze and understand the underlying physiology behind the dynamically complex patterns of brain networks and on the sensitivity of the human brain to electro magnetic perturbations (magnetic fields from MRI and cell phone radiation).
M.D.: National University of Mexico UNAM, Mexico City, Mexico - 1975-1980.
Postdoctoral: New York University, New York, NY - 1980-1984. (Residency in Psychiatry).
Tomasi D, Volkow ND. Functional connectivity density mapping. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010;107(21):9885-90.
Volkow ND, Wang GJ, Kollins SH, Wigal TL, Newcorn JH, Telang F, Fowler JS, Zhu W, Logan J, Ma Y, Pradhan K, Wong C, Swanson JM. Evaluating dopamine reward pathway in ADHD: clinical implications. JAMA. 2009;302(10):1084-91.
Volkow ND, Wang GJ, Telang F, Fowler JS, Logan J, Jayne M, Ma Y, Pradhan K, Wong C. Profound decreases in dopamine release in striatum in detoxified alcoholics: possible orbitofrontal involvement. J Neurosci. 2007;27(46):12700-6.
Volkow ND, Koob GF, McLellan AT. Neurobiologic Advances from the Brain Disease Model of Addiction. N Engl J Med. 2016;374(4):363-71.
Volkow ND, Fowler JS, Logan J, Alexoff D, Zhu W, Telang F, Wang GJ, Jayne M, Hooker JM, Wong C, Hubbard B, Carter P, Warner D, King P, Shea C, Xu Y, Muench L, Apelskog-Torres K. Effects of modafinil on dopamine and dopamine transporters in the male human brain: clinical implications. JAMA. 2009;301(11):1148-54.