Anahita Bassir Nia, MD, assistant professor of psychiatry, has received a grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse for a study titled, “Endocannabinoid System Alterations in Opioid Use Disorder (OUD).” She is collaborating on the project with Cyril D’Souza, MD, professor of psychiatry, and Ansel Hillmer, PhD, assistant professor of radiology and biomedical imaging and of psychiatry.
The study is designed based on evidence from preclinical studies that the endocannabinoid system is dysregulated in chronic opioid exposure.
Bassir Nia and colleagues will use cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1R) specific ligand and positron emission tomography (PET) imaging to study the availability of CB1R and will measure blood levels of endocannabinoids in people with opioid use disorder compared to healthy controls.
This is the first study on the potential endocannabinoid system alterations in humans with opioid use disorder.
Bassir Nia researches addiction and mental health disorders. Recently she has focused on the endogenous cannabinoid system (endocannabinoid) and potentially targeting this system in treatment of opioid use disorder.