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This week on the Community Affairs Show, Cheryl Jackson talks with the Dr. Lorenzo Leggio of the National Institute on Drug Abuse.  The NIDA NIDA is the lead federal agency supporting scientific research on drug use and its consequences.  Dr. Leggio is the Deputy Scientific Director of NIDA IRP, and he has dedicated his medical practice on Drug Addiction.

In today’s interview we discuss what the National Institute on Drug Abuse does and what the research has done  for those who battle drug addiction.  Society views drug addiction as a social issue however research has proven it to be a medical condition and Dr. Leggio says it should be treated as such.  Check out the full interview.

About Dr. Leggio:


Postdoctoral training , Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies, Brown University, Providence, RI, USA

Residency training, Department of Internal Medicine, A. Gemelli Hospital, Catholic University of Rome

Ph.D. – Physiopathology of Nutrition and Metabolism, Catholic University of Rome

1st Level Master Certification – Alcohol-related diseases and problems, University of Florence

M.D. – Medical School, Catholic University of Rome


Dr. Leggio’s CPN laboratory conducts clinical and translational inpatient and outpatient studies to identify possible novel medications for addiction. His group uses a combination of state-of-the-art, innovative bio behavioral and pharmacological procedures performed under well-controlled human laboratory conditions. Imaging brain techniques, such as fMRI and PET, are also employed. Dr. Leggio and his team are particularly interested in the role of the gut-liver-brain axis in alcohol- and drug-seeking behaviors. Specifically, the CPN laboratory is currently investigating the potential role of feeding-related pathways, such as ghrelin, leptin, oxytocin and GLP-1, as possible new neuropharmacological targets for the treatment of alcohol and substance use disorders. Other neuroendocrine pathways are also under investigation, such as the aldosterone / mineralocorticoid receptor pathway. The CPN laboratory has recently expanded its research looking at the role of the gut microbiota in heavy drinkers with a special emphasis on the relationships between alcohol-related seeking behaviors and the microbiota-gut-brain axis. Future research includes work on the effects of bariatric surgery on alcohol-related seeking behaviors. Both preclinical and human approaches are under development to shed light on the possible role of these pathways in alcohol and substance use disorders.

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Community Affairs Show: Dr. Lorenzo Leggio of The National Institute on Drug Abuse  was originally published on