A Choice-Based Screening Method for Compulsive Drug Users in Rats.

A Choice-Based Screening Method for Compulsive Drug Users in Rats.

Curr Protoc Neurosci. 2013 Jul; Chapter 9: Unit9.44
Lenoir M, Augier E, Vouillac C, Ahmed SH

We describe a protocol for screening compulsive drug users among cocaine self-administering rats, the most frequently used animal model in addiction research. Rats are first trained on several alternating days to self-administer either cocaine (i.v.) or saccharin-sweetened water (by mouth)-a potent, albeit nonessential, nondrug reward. Then rats are allowed to choose between the two rewards over several days until the preference stabilizes. Most rats choose to stop using cocaine and pursue the alternative reward. Only a minority of Wistar strain rats (generally 15%) persist in taking the drug, regardless of the severity of past cocaine use and even when made hungry and offered the possibility to relieve their physiological need. Persistence of cocaine use in the face of a high-stakes choice is a core defining feature of compulsion. This choice-based screening method for compulsive drug users is easy to implement, has several important applications, and compares well with other methods in the field. Curr. Protoc. Neurosci. 64:9.44.1-9.44.17. © 2013 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. HubMed – addiction

Neural Bases of Pharmacological Treatment of Nicotine Dependence – Insights from Functional Brain Imaging: A Systematic Review.

CNS Drugs. 2013 Jul 14;
Menossi HS, Goudriaan AE, de Azevedo-Marques Périco C, Nicastri S, de Andrade AG, D’Elia G, Li CS, Castaldelli-Maia JM

Nicotine dependence is difficult to treat, and the biological mechanisms that are involved are not entirely clear. There is an urgent need to develop better drugs and more effective treatments for clinical practice. A critical step towards accelerating progress in medication development is to understand the neurobehavioral effects of pharmacotherapies on clinical characteristics associated with nicotine dependence.This review sought to summarize the functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) literature on smoking cessation with the aim to better understand the neural processes underlying the effects of nicotinic and non-nicotinic pharmacological smoking cessation treatments on specific symptoms of nicotine dependence and withdrawal.We conducted a search in Pubmed, Web of Science and PsycINFO databases with the keywords ‘fMRI’ or ‘functional magnetic resonance imaging’ and ‘tobacco’ or ‘nicotine’ or ‘smok*’. The date of the most recent search was May 2012.The original studies that were included were those of smokers or nicotine-dependent individuals, published in the English language, with pharmacological treatment for nicotine dependence and use of fMRI with blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) imaging or continuous arterial spin labelling (CASL). No date limit was applied.Two of the authors read the abstracts of all studies found in the search (n = 1,260). The inclusion and exclusion criteria were applied, and 1,224 articles were excluded. In a second step, the same authors read the remaining 36 studies. Nineteen of the 36 articles were excluded. The results were tabulated by the number of individuals and their mean age, the main sample characteristics, smoking status, study type and methodology, and the main fMRI findings.Seventeen original fMRI studies involving pharmacological treatment of smokers were selected. The anterior and posterior cingulate cortex, medial and lateral orbitofrontal cortex, ventral striatum, amygdala, thalamus and insula are heavily involved in the maintenance of smoking and nicotine withdrawal. The effects of varenicline and bupropion in alleviating withdrawal symptoms and decreasing smoking correlated with modulation of the activities of these areas. Nicotine replacement therapy seems to improve cognitive symptoms related to withdrawal especially by modulating activities of the default-network regions; however, nicotine replacement does not necessarily alter the activities of neural circuits, such as the cingulate cortices, that are associated with nicotine addiction.The risk of bias in individual studies, and across studies, was not assessed, and no method of handling data and combining results of studies was carried out. Most importantly, positron emission tomography (PET) studies were not included in this review.fMRI studies delineate brain systems that contribute to cognitive deficits and reactivity to stimuli that generate the desire to smoke. Nicotinic and non-nicotinic pharmacotherapy may reduce smoking via distinct neural mechanisms of action. These findings should contribute to the development of new medications and discovery of early markers of the therapeutic response of cigarette smokers. HubMed – addiction

Mindfulness, Emotional Dysregulation, Impulsivity, and Stress Proneness Among Hypersexual Patients.

J Clin Psychol. 2013 Jul 12;
Reid RC, Bramen JE, Anderson A, Cohen MS

The current study explores relationships between mindfulness, emotional regulation, impulsivity, and stress proneness in a sample of participants recruited in a Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder Fifth Edition Field Trial for Hypersexual Disorder and healthy controls to assess whether mindfulness attenuates symptoms of hypersexuality.Hierarchal regression analysis was used to assess whether significant relationships between mindfulness and hypersexuality exist beyond associations commonly found with emotional dysregulation, impulsivity, and stress proneness in a sample of male hypersexual patients (n = 40) and control subjects (n = 30).Our results show a robust inverse relationship of mindfulness to hypersexuality over and above associations with emotional regulation, impulsivity, and stress proneness.These results suggest that mindfulness may be a meaningful component of successful therapy among patients seeking help for hypersexual behavior in attenuating hypersexuality, improving affect regulation, stress coping, and increasing tolerance for desires to act on maladaptive sexual urges and impulses. HubMed – addiction

Patients’ experiences of participating in a large-scale trial of cognitive behavioural therapy for depression: a mixed methods study.

Fam Pract. 2013 Jul 12;
Simmonds B, Turner N, Thomas L, Campbell J, Lewis G, Wiles N, Turner K

Adequate recruitment and retention rates are vital to achieving a successful randomized controlled trial. Historically this has been particularly challenging in mental health research. Few researchers have explored patients’ reasons for taking part and remaining in a depression trial.To explore patients’ reasons for taking part and remaining in a trial that aimed to assess the effectiveness of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) as an adjunct to usual care for primary care patients with treatment resistant depression.(i) Design: Patients completed a short exit questionnaire about their experiences of taking part in the CoBalT trial. In addition, 40 semi-structured telephone interviews were conducted with a purposive sample of these patients to further explore their experiences. (ii) Setting: General practices, England and Scotland.Of 469 patients randomized into the trial, 302 (64.4%) completed an exit questionnaire. The most frequently rated reason for taking part in the study were ‘I was willing to try anything that might help me feel better’ (66%). Patients indicated in interviews why they preferred follow-up data to be collected on a face-to-face basis rather than over the telephone. Some patients reported that taking part in the trial gave them a sense of self-worth and accomplishment.Patients felt they benefited from being in the trial because it enabled them to reflect on their feelings. For some, taking part increased their feelings of self-worth. These findings may be applicable to trials where feelings of inclusion and being valued are likely to promote continued participation. HubMed – addiction