Microinjection of Ghrelin in the Nucleus Accumbens Core Enhances Locomotor Activity Induced by Cocaine.

Microinjection of ghrelin in the nucleus accumbens core enhances locomotor activity induced by cocaine.

Behav Brain Res. 2013 Apr 8;
Jang JK, Kim WY, Cho BR, Lee JW, Kim JH

Ghrelin has a regulatory role not only in the rewarding aspect for feeding but also in drug addiction by interaction with mesolimbic dopaminergic pathways in the brain. Previously it has been shown that systemic ghrelin enhances cocaine-induced hyper-locomotor activity. However, it has not been determined yet what effects ghrelin may produce on cocaine-induced locomotor behavior when microinjected into the nucleus accumbens core, where cocaine actually produces its locomotor activating effects. In the present study, when rats were administered cocaine (15mg/kg, i.p.) following a bilateral microinjection of ghrelin (0.1 or 0.5?g/side) into the NAcc core, their locomotor activity was significantly enhanced, while these effects were inhibited by co-microinjection of ghrelin receptor antagonist (0.5?g/side) into this site. When ghrelin alone microinjected, basal locomotor activity was unchanged. These results expand previous similar findings obtained by systemic ghrelin to more specific neuronal site, the nucleus accumbens core, and further suggest that it may work in this site to positively contribute to the expression of locomotor sensitization. HubMed – addiction


Reward and aversion in a heterogeneous midbrain dopamine system.

Neuropharmacology. 2013 Apr 8;
Lammel S, Lim BK, Malenka RC

The ventral tegmental area (VTA) is a heterogeneous brain structure that serves a central role in motivation and reward processing. Abnormalities in the function of VTA dopamine (DA) neurons and the targets they influence are implicated in several prominent neuropsychiatric disorders including addiction and depression. Recent studies suggest that the midbrain DA system is composed of anatomically and functionally heterogeneous DA subpopulations with different axonal projections. These findings may explain a number of previously confusing observations that suggested a role for DA in processing both rewarding as well as aversive events. Here we will focus on recent advances in understanding the neural circuits mediating reward and aversion in the VTA and how stress as well as drugs of abuse, in particular cocaine, alter circuit function within a heterogeneous midbrain DA system. HubMed – addiction


Hypersexual Behavior in an Online Sample of Males: Associations with Personal Distress and Functional Impairment.

J Sex Med. 2013 Apr 11;
Spenhoff M, Kruger TH, Hartmann U, Kobs J

INTRODUCTION: The population of individuals reporting hypersexual behavior is heterogeneous. Prior research has implicated the importance of personal distress and functional impairment, as both may serve as indicators of problem severity and relevance. Still, little is known about associations with distress and impairment following hypersexuality. AIM: The purpose of this study was to investigate personal distress and functional impairment in a community sample of male self-identified “sex addicts” and to explore the associations with related variables. METHODS: Three hundred forty-nine men completed an online survey that included questions about personal distress, functional impairment, motivation for behavior change, type of hypersexual behaviors, time spent on sexual behavior, and progression of sexual urges. The survey included the Sexual Addiction Screening Test-Revised (SAST-R) core. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Specific survey questions about personal distress and functional impairment in six life areas were used to assess these variables. Chi-square and P-values were calculated to explore the interrelations among them. RESULTS: There were 75.3% (N?=?253) who reported feeling distressed due to hypersexual behavior. Functional impairment in at least one life area was specified by 77.4% (N?=?270), and most participants (56.2%) reported impairment regarding partner relationships. Personal distress and functional impairment in three areas were associated with a strong motivation for behavior change. Distress was associated with online pornography use, masturbation, and/or sexual contact with changing partners. The progression of sexual urges was related to distress, while time spent on sexual behavior was not. There were 92.9% of the distressed participants who scored above the SAST-R core scale cut-off, but also 59.0% of the participants with little or no distress scored in this range. CONCLUSIONS: Results underline the particular role of problems in social or intimate relationships in association with hypersexuality. Clustering individuals with regard to their specific sexual behavior and impairment pattern seems to be promising for further research. Spenhoff M, Kruger THC, Hartmann U, and Kobs J. Hypersexual behavior in an online sample of males: Associations with personal distress and functional impairment. J Sex Med **;**:**-**. HubMed – addiction


Liver Transplantation in Alcoholic Patients: Impact of an Alcohol Addiction Unit Within a Liver Transplant Center.

Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2013 Apr 11;
Addolorato G, Mirijello A, Leggio L, Ferrulli A, D’Angelo C, Vassallo G, Cossari A, Gasbarrini G, Landolfi R, Agnes S, Gasbarrini A,

BACKGROUND: Many concerns about liver transplantation in alcoholic patients are related to the risk of alcohol recidivism. Starting from 2002, an Alcohol Addiction Unit (AAU) was formed within the liver transplant center for the management of alcoholic patients affected by end-stage liver disease and included in the waiting list for transplantation. We evaluated retrospectively the impact of the AAU on alcohol recidivism after transplantation. The relationship between alcohol recidivism and the duration of alcohol abstinence before transplant was evaluated as well. METHODS: Between 1995 and 2010, 92 cirrhotic alcoholic patients underwent liver transplantation. Clinical evaluation and management of alcohol use in these patients was provided by psychiatrists with expertise in addiction medicine not affiliated to the liver transplant center before 2002 (n = 37; group A), or by the clinical staff of the AAU within the liver transplant center starting from 2002 (n = 55; group B). RESULTS: Group B, as compared with group A, showed a significantly lower prevalence of alcohol recidivism (16.4 vs. 35.1%; p = 0.038) and a significantly lower mortality (14.5 vs. 37.8%; p = 0.01). Furthermore, an analysis of group B patients with either ?6 or <6 months of alcohol abstinence before transplantation showed no difference in the rate of alcohol recidivism (21.1 vs. 15.4%; p = ns). CONCLUSIONS: The presence of an AAU within a liver transplant center reduces the risk of alcohol recidivism after transplantation. A pretransplant abstinence period <6 months might be considered, at least in selected patients managed by an AAU. HubMed – addiction



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