Neuroendocrine responses to experimentally-induced emotions among abstinent opioid-dependent subjects.
ABSTRACT The present study investigated neuroendocrine and cardiovascular changes during experimentally-induced affective states in abstinent heroin-dependent subjects and healthy controls. The procedure for eliciting emotions in all subjects used pleasant and unpleasant stimuli that did not differ in subjective arousal properties. We investigated whether the valence of the stimuli differentially affected neuroendocrine responses by comparing neutral, pleasant and unpleasant pictures on heart rate (HR), systolic (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP), methyl-OH-phenyl-glycol (MHPG), norepinephrine (NE), epinephrine (EPI), adrenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH) and cortisol (CORT) plasma levels. Twelve abstinent heroin-dependent subjects, in comparison with 12 control subjects, were submitted to three experimental sessions, each on one of three experimental days a week apart, in counterbalanced order: day 1=unpleasant pictures, day 2=pleasant pictures, day 3=neutral pictures. In the rating of subjective arousal pleasant and unpleasant stimuli received the same high score in comparison with neutral stimuli; a different cardiovascular and neuroendocrine pattern was obtained in healthy subjects: unpleasant stimuli elicited increases in HR, SBP, MHPG, NE, ACTH, CORT, whereas neutral and pleasant stimuli did not induce any significant response in hormonal levels. In contrast, in heroin addicts, despite increased perceptions of unpleasantness, HR, SBP, MHPG and NE levels did not increase after disliked stimuli; these subjects also reported increased arousal during exposure to neutral stimuli. In comparison with controls, addicted individuals showed higher CORT and ACTH basal levels, and a consequent lack of response to unpleasant stimuli. The results indicate that neuroendocrine and cardiovascular systems respond selectively to affective, motivationally relevant stimuli, and that substance use disorders may be associated with dysregulation of emotion-processing mechanisms.
Article: The effectiveness of emotion regulation training and cognitive therapy on the emotional and addictional problems of substance abusers.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of emotional regulation training group therapy, based on Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) and Cognitive Therapy, on improving emotional regulation and distress tolerance skills and relapse prevention in addicts. In a quasiexperimental study, 39 patients with the diagnosis of opioid dependence based on DSM-IV criteria were randomly assigned in to two experimental and one control groups. The experimental groups took 10 ninety-minute sessions of group therapy. The subjects were evaluated using the Opiate Treatment Index (OPI), General Health Questionnaire-28 (GHQ-28), and Distress Tolerance and Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scales prior to the start of treatment, and at the sixteenth session. The control group did not take group therapy and was merely treated with naltrexone. Data were analyzed using repeated measures ANOVA and χ2 test. Scheffe test showed that both emotion regulation training and cognitive therapy were more effective than naltrexone increasing distress tolerance, emotion regulation enhancement, and decreasing the amount of drug abuse, health improvement, social functioning, somatic symptoms, anxiety, social dysfunction and depression enhancement (P<0.05). In addition, emotion regulation training was more effective than cognitive therapy, increasing distress tolerance and emotional regulation enhancement (p<0.05). It seems that DBT skill training increase the effectiveness of pharmacotherapy and is more effective than cognitive therapy.Iranian journal of psychiatry. 01/2010; 5(2):60-5.