. . .The McCain/Coburn report claimed this was a reference to a Federal grant of $71,623 to the Winston-Salem college to “study how monkeys react under cocaine.”
And that’s true. But the report didn’t tell you why the monkeys’ reaction to cocaine is being studied: To develop our understanding of how the brain chemistry of addiction works, in order to better combat drug addiction.
Administration officials say this grant was part of the roughly $8 billion in stimulus grants that the National Institutes of Health has doled out for scientific research, with the goal of creating jobs while advancing scientific knowledge. This particular grant is based on recent studies showing that drug users may get addicted because of a chemical in the brain called glutamate.
This research on cocaine monkeys is meant to determine how the parts of the brain that use glutamate change during and after exposure to cocaine. The idea is that knowing this will help develop more effective treatments for cocaine addiction — in people, not in monkeys.
All such grants are reviewed by NIH scientists to establish the scientific validity of the studies receiving funding.