Reward/punishment Sensitivities Among Internet Addicts: Implications for Their Addictive Behaviors.

Reward/punishment sensitivities among internet addicts: Implications for their addictive behaviors.

Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 2013 Jul 19;
Dong G, Hu Y, Lin X

Internet addiction disorder (IAD) has raised widespread public health concerns. In this study, we used a gambling task to simulate extreme win/lose situations to find the reward/punishment sensitivities after continuous wins and losses. FMRI data were collected from 16 IAD subjects (21.4±3.1 years) and 15 healthy controls (HC, 22.1±3.6 years). Group comparisons showed higher superior frontal gyrus activations after continuous wins for IAD subjects than for HC. The brain activities in IAD subjects were not disturbed by their losses. In addition, IAD participants showed decreased posterior cingulate activation compared to HC after continuous losses. These results indicated that IAD participants showed preference to win while neglecting their losses, therefore they engaged less executive endeavor to control their frustration after continuous losses. Taken together, we concluded that IAD subjects showed enhanced sensitivity to win and decreased sensitivity to lose. This can help us understand why IAD subjects continue playing online even after noticing the severe negative consequences of their behaviors. HubMed – addiction

BDNF val66met modulates the association between childhood trauma, cognitive and brain abnormalities in psychoses.

Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 2013 Jul 19;
Aas M, Haukvik UK, Djurovic S, Bergmann O, Athanasiu L, Tesli MS, Hellvin T, Steen NE, Agartz I, Lorentzen S, Sundet K, Andreassen OA, Melle I

Brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is important for brain development and plasticity, and here we tested if the functional BDNF val66met variant modulates the association between high levels of childhood abuse, cognitive function, and brain abnormalities in psychoses.249 patients with a broad DSM-IV schizophrenia spectrum disorder or bipolar disorder were consecutively recruited to the TOP research study (mean±age: 30.7±10.9; gender: 49% males). History of childhood trauma was obtained using the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire. Cognitive function was assessed through a standardized neuropsychological test battery. BDNF val66met was genotyped using standardized procedures. A sub-sample of n=106 Caucasians with a broad DSM-IV schizophrenia spectrum disorder or bipolar disorder (mean±age: 32.67±10.85; 49% males) had data on sMRI.Carriers of the Methionine (met) allele exposed to high level of childhood abuse demonstrated significantly poorer cognitive functioning compared to homozygotic Valine (val/val) carriers. Taking in consideration multiple testing, using a more conservative p value, this was still shown for physical abuse and emotional abuse, as well as a trend level for sexual abuse. Further, met carriers exposed to high level of childhood sexual abuse showed reduced right hippocampal volume (r(2) =0.43; p=0.008), and larger right and left lateral ventricles (r(2) =0.37; p=0.002, and r(2) =0.27; p=0.009, respectively). Our findings were independent of age, gender, diagnosis and intracranial volume.Our data demonstrate that in patients with psychoses, met carriers of the BDNF val66met with high level of childhood abuse have more cognitive and brain abnormalities than all other groups. HubMed – addiction

Potential Substrates for Nicotine and Alcohol Interactions: a Focus on the Mesocorticolimbic Dopamine System.

Biochem Pharmacol. 2013 Jul 19;
Doyon WM, Thomas AM, Ostroumov A, Dong Y, Dani JA

Epidemiological studies consistently find correlations between nicotine and alcohol use, yet the neural mechanisms underlying their interaction remain largely unknown. Nicotine and alcohol (i.e., ethanol) share many common molecular and cellular targets that provide potential substrates for nicotine-alcohol interactions. These targets for interaction often converge upon the mesocorticolimbic dopamine system, where the link to drug self-administration and reinforcement is well documented. Both nicotine and alcohol activate the mesocorticolimbic dopamine system, producing downstream dopamine signals that promote the drug reinforcement process. While nicotine primarily acts via nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, alcohol acts upon a wider range of receptors and molecular substrates. The complex pharmacological profile of these two drugs generates overlapping responses that ultimately intersect within the mesocorticolimbic dopamine system to promote drug use. Here we will examine overlapping targets between nicotine and alcohol and provide evidence for their interaction. Based on the existing literature, we will also propose some potential targets that have yet to be directly tested. Mechanistic studies that examine nicotine-alcohol interactions would ultimately improve our understanding of the factors that contribute to the associations between nicotine and alcohol use. HubMed – addiction

Characterizing the cognitive effects of cocaine: a comprehensive review.

Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2013 Jul 19;
Spronk DB, van Wel JH, Ramaekers JG, Verkes RJ

Understanding the cognitive sequela of repeated cocaine use is a growing area of research and is crucial to the development of cognitive models of addiction. We systematically reviewed all available placebo-controlled and case-controlled studies on the acute and long term effects of cocaine on cognitive functioning. In order to compare the magnitude of cognitive effects across cognitive domains we conducted several meta-analyses on a subset of data from long term effect studies. Studies on acute cocaine administration suggest enhancement of response inhibition and psychomotor speed, while all other domains appear to be unaffected or not investigated adequately. Long term effects of cocaine show a wide array of deteriorated cognitive functions, indicating that long term cocaine use is characterized by a general cognitive impairment across functions, rather than with specific cognitive deficits. Literature on long-term cocaine effects is more substantial than literature on acute effects. This comprehensive review outlines possible dissociations and similarities of acute vs. long-term cocaine effects in the human brain. Atherosclerosis after cocaine exposure may underlie cognitive dysfunction suggesting involvement of several brain areas. Acute drug studies are important to the future development of addiction models. HubMed – addiction

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