Differential Roles of the Prefrontal Cortical Subregions and Basolateral Amygdala in Compulsive Cocaine Seeking and Relapse After Voluntary Abstinence in Rats.

Differential roles of the prefrontal cortical subregions and basolateral amygdala in compulsive cocaine seeking and relapse after voluntary abstinence in rats.

Eur J Neurosci. 2013 Jul 1;
Pelloux Y, Murray JE, Everitt BJ

Compulsive drug use and a persistent vulnerability to relapse are key features of addiction. Imaging studies have suggested that these features may result from deficits in prefrontal cortical structure and function, and thereby impaired top-down inhibitory control over limbic-striatal mechanisms of drug-seeking behaviour. We tested the hypothesis that selective damage to distinct subregions of the prefrontal cortex, or to the amygdala, after a short history of cocaine taking would: (i) result in compulsive cocaine seeking at a time when it would not usually be displayed; or (ii) facilitate relapse to drug seeking after abstinence. Rats with selective, bilateral excitotoxic lesions of the basolateral amygdala or anterior cingulate, prelimbic, infralimbic, orbitofrontal or anterior insular cortices were trained to self-administer cocaine under a seeking-taking chained schedule. Intermittent mild footshock punishment of the cocaine-seeking response was then introduced. No prefrontal cortical lesion affected the ability of rats to withhold their seeking responses. However, rats with lesions to the basolateral amygdala increased their cocaine-seeking responses under punishment and were impaired in their acquisition of conditioned fear. Following a 7-day abstinence period, rats were re-exposed to the drug-seeking environment for assessment of relapse in the absence of punishment or cocaine. Rats with prelimbic cortex lesions showed decreased seeking responses during relapse, whereas those with anterior insular cortex lesions showed an increase. Combined, these results show that acute impairment of prefrontal cortical function does not result in compulsive cocaine seeking after a short history of self-administering cocaine, but further implicates subregions of the prefrontal cortex in relapse. HubMed – addiction


Neuroimaging in clinical studies of craving: Importance of reward and control networks.

Psychol Addict Behav. 2013 Jun; 27(2): 543-6
Thayer RE, Hutchison KE

Research on neurobiological mechanisms, especially the function of networks that underlie reward and cognitive control, may offer an opportunity to explore how existing treatments work and provide means for developing new treatments for substance use disorders. In this respect, the special issue of Psychology of Addictive Behaviors highlights efforts to integrate translational neuroimaging with clinical research by actively linking neuroimaging measures with psychosocial treatment mechanisms. Based on several of the articles in this special issue, mindfulness-based approaches appear poised to make rapid progress in terms of integrating neuroimaging with research on mechanisms that mediate treatment success. This commentary briefly discusses research on incentive salience and cognitive control networks in the context of addiction, followed by a discussion of specific studies within this special issue that address the integration of neuroimaging assessments in the context of mindfulness approaches. Future work may be able to leverage measures of changes in networks and regions that underlie reward processing and cognitive control to better understand how treatments work, especially for mindfulness-based approaches. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved). HubMed – addiction


Neuroimaging mechanisms of change in psychotherapy for addictive behaviors: Emerging translational approaches that bridge biology and behavior.

Psychol Addict Behav. 2013 Jun; 27(2): 329-35
Feldstein Ewing SW, Chung T

Research on mechanisms of behavior change provides an innovative method to improve treatment for addictive behaviors. An important extension of mechanisms of change research involves the use of translational approaches, which examine how basic biological (i.e., brain-based mechanisms) and behavioral factors interact in initiating and sustaining positive behavior change as a result of psychotherapy. Articles in this special issue include integrative conceptual reviews and innovative empirical research on brain-based mechanisms that may underlie risk for addictive behaviors and response to psychotherapy from adolescence through adulthood. Review articles discuss hypothesized mechanisms of change for cognitive and behavioral therapies, mindfulness-based interventions, and neuroeconomic approaches. Empirical articles cover a range of addictive behaviors, including use of alcohol, cigarettes, marijuana, cocaine, and pathological gambling and represent a variety of imaging approaches including fMRI, magneto-encephalography, real-time fMRI, and diffusion tensor imaging. Additionally, a few empirical studies directly examine brain-based mechanisms of change, whereas others examine brain-based indicators as predictors of treatment outcome. Finally, two commentaries discuss craving as a core feature of addiction, and the importance of a developmental approach to examining mechanisms of change. Ultimately, translational research on mechanisms of behavior change holds promise for increasing understanding of how psychotherapy may modify brain structure and functioning and facilitate the initiation and maintenance of positive treatment outcomes for addictive behaviors. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved). HubMed – addiction


The “Citizens Petition” to the FDA: A Call to Arms or a Cause for Reflection?

J Addict Dis. 2013 April-June; 32(2): 227-230
Kotz M

HubMed – addiction