Addiction, compulsive drug seeking, and the role of frontostriatal mechanisms in regulating inhibitory control

School of Psychology and Psychiatry, Monash University, Clayton, Victoria 3800, Australia.
Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews (Impact Factor: 8.8). 03/2010; 35(2):248-75. DOI: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2010.03.001
Source: PubMed


A principal feature of drug addiction is a reduced ability to regulate control over the desire to procure drugs regardless of the risks involved. Traditional models implicated the neural 'reward' system in providing a neurobiological model of addiction. Newer models however, have expanded on this circuitry to include two separate, but interconnecting systems, the limbic system in the incentive sensitization of drugs, and the prefrontal cortex (PFC) in regulating inhibitory control over drug use. Until the recent developments in neuroimaging and brain stimulation techniques, it has been extremely difficult to assess the involvement of the PFC in addiction. In the current review, we explore the involvement of the frontostriatal circuitry in regulating inhibitory control, and suggest how dysregulation of these circuits could be involved in an increased difficulty in ceasing drug use. Following this, we investigate the recent neuropsychological, neuroimaging and brain stimulation studies that explore the presence of these inhibitory deficits, and frontostriatal dysfunctions, across various different substance groups. Further insight into these deficits could contribute to the development of treatment strategies which target these cognitive impairments, and frontostriatal dysfunction, in reducing drug-seeking behaviors.

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    • "Also, studies on probabilistic reasoning failed to find that OCD patients had less confidence in their choices, or needed more information before reaching a decision compared to controls (Fear & Healy, 1997;Pelissier and O'Connor, 2002;Reese, McNally & Wilhelm, 2011;Jacobsen, Freeman & Salkovskis, 2012). Finally, recent neuroimaging studies showed reward dysfunction in OCD (Figee et al., 2011;Admon et al., 2012), similar to findings in disorders that are characterized by reduced impulse control and risk-seeking behaviours such as pathological gambling and substance dependence (Feil et al., 2010;Miedl, Peters & Büchel, 2012). Extra evidences come from D2 dopamine receptor binding studies that show a pattern of binding reduction in OCD patients similar to that found by other studies in addicted patients (Blum et al., 2014;Denys et al., 2013;Lee et al., 2009). "
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    Full-text · Article · Dec 2015 · Journal of Behavioural Addictions
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    • "The PFC is connected to several subcortical regions and plays an important role in regulation of reward systems (Volkow et al. 2009). What's more, its involvement in inhibitory control is regarded as a key role in drug seeking behaviors (Feil et al. 2010). Projections from several PFC regions such as the ACC, OFC and DLPFC to the striatum, passing through the pallidum and thalamus, constitute the prefrontalstriatal circuits, which are related to cognitive inhibitory control and stimulus–response habits (Volkow et al. 2013; Kober et al. 2010). "
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    • "Recent models of drug addiction have begun to emphasize the reciprocal influence of incentive-motivational properties of drug-related cues and impaired control over drug taking (Dawe et al., 2004; Feil et al., 2010). These models cite neuroanatomical evidence implicating frontostriatal circuitry dysfunction in salience attribution and response inhibition, and propose that the motivation elicited by drug-associated cues serve to directly impair control mechanisms necessary to inhibit the cue-induced impulse to use a drug. "
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