Alcohol-associated cues may act as conditioned stimuli that activate the brain reward system and motivate alcohol intake in alcoholics. Alcohol-associated visual stimuli were presented during functional magnetic resonance imaging. An activation of the ventral putamen was observed in alcoholics but not in control subjects. Patients with a strong activation of the ventral putamen relapsed during the next three months. This observation supports the hypothesis that alcohol use affects areas involved in brain reward circuits and that their stimulus-induced activation may be associated with an increased risk for relapse.
"• Patients who relapsed within 3 months after discharge had lower levels of dopamine during detoxification than patients who did not relapse, according to a study that measured dopamine in 21 AUD inpatients using [ 123 I] iodobenzamide (IBZM) single-photon emission computerized tomography (SPECT) (Guardia et al. 2000). showed increased activity in part of the striatum, called the ventral putamen, when viewing visual alcohol cues during the early weeks of abstinence (at least 1 week after detoxification) (Braus et al. 2001). • On the other hand, recently detoxified (1 to 3 weeks) alcoholic patients with a blunted striatal response to positive emotional pictures relative to neutral pictures had a greater number of drinking days and a higher amount of alcohol consumed during the 6-month followup (Heinz et al. 2007). "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chronic alcohol-related neuroadaptations in key neural circuits of emotional and cognitive control play a critical role in the development of, and recovery from, alcoholism. Converging evidence in the neurobiological literature indicates that neuroplastic changes in the prefrontal-striatal-limbic circuit, which governs emotion regulation and decisionmaking and controls physiological responses in the autonomic nervous system and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis system, contribute to chronic alcoholism and also are significant predictors of relapse and recovery. This paper reviews recent evidence on the neuroplasticity associated with alcoholism in humans, including acute and chronic effects, and how these neurobiological adaptations contribute to alcohol recovery, along with the discussion of relevant clinical implications and future research directions.
Alcohol research : current reviews 09/2015; 37(1):143-152.
"Cognitive impairments have been demonstrated under conditions of acute alcohol challenges, in non-drinkers and drinkers, and in populations of binge drinkers, chronic heavy drinkers, alcohol dependent and recently abstinent alcohol dependent individuals (Weissenborn & Duka, 2003; Fillmore et al., 2005; Goudriaan et al., 2007). MRI and fMRI studies have revealed alterations in brain structure (Pfefferbaum et al., 1997; Sullivan & Pfefferbaum, 2005; G. J. Harris et al., 2008) and brain activation differences during task performance (Braus et al., 2001; Tapert et al., 2001, 2004a; Grusser et al., 2004; Myrick et al., 2004; Heinz et al., 2007; Marinkovic et al., 2009; Trim et al., 2010; Paulus et al., 2012; Schuckit et al., 2012), which likely contribute to alcoholrelated cognitive deficits. For a comprehensive review of studies investigating adult alcohol dependent populations using a wide variety of non-invasive (MR) and invasive neuroimaging techniques (requiring exposure to ionizing radiation in the form of X-rays or injection with radioactive isotopes, e.g. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: There is a considerable body of literature demonstrating that adolescence is a unique age period, which includes rapid and dramatic maturation of behavioral, cognitive, hormonal and neurobiological systems. Most notably, adolescence is also a period of unique responsiveness to alcohol effects, with both hyposensitivity and hypersensitivity observed to the various effects of alcohol. Multiple neurotransmitter systems are undergoing fine-tuning during this critical period of brain development, including those that contribute to the rewarding effects of drugs of abuse. The role of developmental maturation of the γ-amino-butyric acid (GABA) system, however, has received less attention in contributing to age-specific alcohol sensitivities. This review integrates GABA findings from human magnetic resonance spectroscopy studies as they may translate to understanding adolescent-specific responsiveness to alcohol effects. Better understanding of the vulnerability of the GABA system both during adolescent development, and in psychiatric conditions that include alcohol dependence, could point to a putative mechanism, boosting brain GABA, that may have increased effectiveness for treating alcohol abuse disorders.
"One of the earliest studies on potential brain correlates of craving in subjects with Internet (gaming) addiction was reported by Ko et al. (2009). They studied excessive World-of-Warcraft (WoW) players (all participants played at least 30 h a week) with fMRI using a picture paradigm, which is comparable with those previously used in alcohol addiction research (e.g., Braus et al., 2001; Grüsser et al., 2004). The results were very similar to those reported in substance-dependent individuals (Schacht et al., 2013). "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Most people use the Internet as a functional tool to perform their personal goals in everyday-life such as making airline or hotel reservations. However, some individuals suffer from a loss of control over their Internet use resulting in personal distress, symptoms of psychological dependence, and diverse negative consequences. This phenomenon is often referred to as Internet addiction. Only Internet Gaming Disorder has been included in the appendix of the DSM-5, but it has already been argued that Internet addiction could also comprise problematic use of other applications with cybersex, online relations, shopping, and information search being Internet facets at risk for developing an addictive behavior. Neuropsychological investigations have pointed out that certain prefrontal functions in particular executive control functions are related to symptoms of Internet addiction, which is in line with recent theoretical models on the development and maintenance of the addictive use of the Internet. Control processes are particularly reduced when individuals with Internet addiction are confronted with Internet-related cues representing their first choice use. For example, processing Internet-related cues interferes with working memory performance and decision making. Consistent with this, results from functional neuroimaging and other neuropsychological studies demonstrate that cue-reactivity, craving, and decision making are important concepts for understanding Internet addiction. The findings on reductions in executive control are consistent with other behavioral addictions, such as pathological gambling. They also emphasize the classification of the phenomenon as an addiction, because there are also several similarities with findings in substance dependency. The neuropsychological and neuroimaging results have important clinical impact, as one therapy goal should enhance control over the Internet use by modifying specific cognitions and Internet use expectancies.
Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 05/2014; 8:375. DOI:10.3389/fnhum.2014.00375 · 2.99 Impact Factor
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