Sugar Addiction: Pushing the Drug-Sugar Analogy to the Limit.

Sugar addiction: pushing the drug-sugar analogy to the limit.

Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2013 May 27;
Ahmed SH, Guillem K, Vandaele Y

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: To review research by testing the validity of the analogy between addictive drugs, like cocaine, and hyperpalatable foods, notably those high in added sugar (i.e., sucrose). RECENT FINDINGS: Available evidence in humans shows that sugar and sweetness can induce reward and craving that are comparable in magnitude to those induced by addictive drugs. Although this evidence is limited by the inherent difficulty of comparing different types of rewards and psychological experiences in humans, it is nevertheless supported by recent experimental research on sugar and sweet reward in laboratory rats. Overall, this research has revealed that sugar and sweet reward can not only substitute to addictive drugs, like cocaine, but can even be more rewarding and attractive. At the neurobiological level, the neural substrates of sugar and sweet reward appear to be more robust than those of cocaine (i.e., more resistant to functional failures), possibly reflecting past selective evolutionary pressures for seeking and taking foods high in sugar and calories. SUMMARY: The biological robustness in the neural substrates of sugar and sweet reward may be sufficient to explain why many people can have difficultly to control the consumption of foods high in sugar when continuously exposed to them. HubMed – addiction


Serotonin2C receptors in the ventral pallidum regulate motor function in rats.

Neuroreport. 2013 May 29;
Graves SM, Viskniskki AA, Cunningham KA, Napier TC

The ventral pallidum is a limbic brain region that regulates motor function. This region is extensively innervated by serotoninergic neurons from the dorsal raphe nucleus. Serotonergic receptors, including the 5-HT2C receptor subtype, are located in the ventral pallidum. However, little is known regarding the behavioral consequences of serotonergic transmission in the ventral pallidum, and the role of 5-HT2C receptors has not been studied. To address this paucity, we measured the motoric consequences of injections of 0.33-10 ng of the 5-HT2C receptor agonist MK 212 into the ventral pallidum of adult male Sprague-Dawley rats. We determined that locomotor activity was attenuated by 6.6 ng MK 212, and rearing was attenuated by both 1 and 6.6 ng. The motor suppressant effects of MK 212 were lost at the higher dose of 10 ng, likely reflecting a loss of selectivity of this ligand. These findings indicate negative regulation of motor function by 5-HT2C receptors in the ventral pallidum. HubMed – addiction


Treatment of GHB Withdrawal Syndrome: Catch 22 or Challenge for Addiction Medicine?

Addiction. 2013 May 30;
De Jong CA, Kamal R, Van Noorden M, Broers B

HubMed – addiction


Gambling in Spain: update on experience, research and policy.

Addiction. 2013 May 29;
Jiménez-Murcia S, Fernández-Aranda F, Granero R, Menchón JM

AIMS: To describe the current situation of gambling in Spain, sketching its history and discussing the regulations and legislation currently in force within the framework of the European Union (EU), and to review the epidemiology of gambling in Spain, the self-help groups and professional treatments available, and their potential effectiveness. METHODS: A systematic computerized search was performed in three databases (EMBASE, PubMed and PsychINFO, including articles and chapters) and the reference lists from previous reviews to obtain some of the most relevant studies published up to now on the topic of pathologic gambling in Spain. RESULTS: Similar to other EU countries, Spain has a high prevalence of pathologic gambling, focused on specific culturally bounded types of gambling. Expenditure in online gaming has risen significantly in the last few years, prompting the Spanish government to draft new legislation to regulate gaming. CONCLUSIONS: The gaming industry is expected to be one of the fastest growing sectors in Spain in the coming years owing to the rise of new technologies and the development of online gaming. HubMed – addiction