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Drugs & Health Blog

Word of the Day: Neuroscience

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Sara Bellum

Your school probably has science classes like biology and chemistry and maybe even ecology, but does it offer a class specifically on neuroscience?

Neuroscience is a branch of biology that focuses on the body’s nervous system—which includes the spinal cord, nerves, neurons (nerve cells) and, of course, the all-important brain.

Work in the neuroscience field is varied and exciting. Neuroscientists might study how messages travel from one area of the brain to the other, or they might focus on how the brain is involved in behavior and decision-making.

Still others might work to find causes of and cures for diseases and medical problems like stroke, Parkinson’s disease, depression, Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia, and addiction.

At NIDA, research focuses heavily on neuroscience, considering that drug addiction is a brain disease. Without neuroscientists and the research they do, we would be unaware of some pretty important things—like how the brain isn’t fully developed until a person is well into their 20s and how drugs like marijuana affect the teen brain differently than an adult brain.

So much about the brain is still unknown. That makes neuroscience a particularly exciting field. If you are interested in help shed light on the mysteries of the brain, consider exploring neuroscience as a career. Check out the advice NIDA scientists offered to SBB for teens interested in a future career in science.

Learn more about the brain from these NIDA resources:


Comments posted to the Drugs & Health Blog are from the general public and may contain inaccurate information. They do not represent the views of NIDA or any other federal government entity.


Very nice read! I'm a neuroscience student from Germany and I simply love this subject. It is incredible that mankind does not know much at all about the brain and, in particular, about consciousness itself. Neuroscientific studies will lead to many very interesting findings regarding drug use and abuse, marketing, consumer behaviour and human behaviour in general. The future should be interesting!

Which states offer these classes?

So you're saying addiction is a brain disease but we know not much about the brain?

@Jim--Over the last several decades, we have learned that addiciton can disrupt the brain's circuitry, and, true, we're discovering new things every day. So, it's not that we don't know "much"--just that there's still much to learn.

Yes I agree Marcus. I just happen to be a person that has had Spacisity, clonus, upper motor neuron issues for 5 years and they can't find a source. I have been to many neurologists and neurosurgeons and they just do not know. Went to the last doctor friday and he said he was sorry but they just do not know enough to help me. Science just doesn't know enough right now.

Which states offer these classes?

I think that's just a great tip

to learn more about neuroscience (and any other topics in biology and life sciences), visit htp:// - a new biology news aggregator, which will keep you informed about the hot science and research trends!

think you very much

Thank you, awesome information!

M. Bradbury

I just don't get why people would want to affect their brain, one of, if not, the most important body part.