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ICAN Seminar Series
Thursday, April 20, 2023 at 11:00am
The seminar will be live streamed via Zoom and In-Person.
Arturo Zavala, PhD
Department of Psychology
California State University, Long Beach
“Functional consequences of psychotropic drug exposure early in development”
Abstract: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and depression are the most common diagnoses in children and adolescents, and the use of medications to treat these conditions has increased dramatically over the past three decades. However, little research has examined the functional consequences of early and extended use of these medications. Preclinical studies demonstrate that early exposure to methylphenidate (Ritalin) and fluoxetine (Prozac) enhances the abuse potential of cocaine. I will present data from animal studies that show the effects of early exposure to methylphenidate and ketamine, a recently approved antidepressant, on the rewarding effects of nicotine and alcohol in adolescent male and female rats. The findings from these studies have significant clinical implications for the use of psychotropic drugs in children and adolescents.
Dr. Arturo Zavala is a Professor in the Department of Psychology at California State University, Long Beach. He received his Ph.D. in Behavioral Neuroscience from Arizona State University. Dr. Zavala’s research program focuses on the functional consequences of early exposure to psychoactive drugs and later susceptibility to drug abuse, as well as the role of serotonin and glucagon-like peptide 1 in modulating the effects of drugs of abuse. His laboratory combines neurochemical, molecular, and pharmacological approaches with animal behavioral models to understand the neural basis of addiction. Dr. Zavala is also Co-Director of the Building Infrastructure Leading to Diversity (BUILD) program, which aims to increase the number of underrepresented students entering biomedical and health-related research careers.