A pinboard by
Yann Chye

Many theories have been suggested, as driving the compulsive substance use behaviour in substance use disorders (SUDs). Theories suggest homeostatic or allostatic changes, changes to reward-based processing, stress, motivation, and decision making, and the role of dopamine (among many) in driving the progression from substance use to disorder. This board presents a number of reviews on the theories of addiction.


Adult hippocampal neurogenesis in the pathogenesis of addiction and dual diagnosis disorders.

Abstract: As knowledge deepens about how new neurons are born, differentiate, and wire into the adult mammalian brain, growing evidence depicts hippocampal neurogenesis as a special form of neuroplasticity that may be impaired across psychiatric disorders. This review provides an integrated-evidence based framework describing a neurogenic basis for addictions and addiction vulnerability in mental illness.Basic studies conducted over the last decade examining the effects of addictive drugs on adult neurogenesis and the impact of neurogenic activity on addictive behavior were compiled and integrated with relevant neurocomputational and human studies.While suppression of hippocampal neurogenic proliferation appears to be a universal property of addictive drugs, the pathophysiology of addictions involves neuroadaptative processes within frontal-cortical-striatal motivation circuits that the neurogenic hippocampus regulates via direct projections. States of suppressed neurogenic activity may simultaneously underlie psychiatric and cognitive symptoms, but also confer or signify hippocampal dysfunction that heightens addiction vulnerability in mental illness as a basis for dual diagnosis disorders.Research on pharmacological, behavioral and experiential strategies that enhance adaptive regulation of hippocampal neurogenesis holds potential in advancing preventative and integrative treatment strategies for addictions and dual diagnosis disorders.

Pub.: 03 Jan '13, Pinned: 30 Jul '17

Addictions Neuroclinical Assessment: A Neuroscience-Based Framework for Addictive Disorders.

Abstract: This article proposes a heuristic framework for the Addictions Neuroclinical Assessment that incorporates key functional domains derived from the neurocircuitry of addiction. We review how addictive disorders (ADs) are presently diagnosed and the need for new neuroclinical measures to differentiate patients who meet clinical criteria for addiction to the same agent while differing in etiology, prognosis, and treatment response. The need for a better understanding of the mechanisms provoking and maintaining addiction, as evidenced by the limitations of current treatments and within-diagnosis clinical heterogeneity, is articulated. In addition, recent changes in the nosology of ADs, challenges to current classification systems, and prior attempts to subtype individuals with ADs are described. Complementary initiatives, including the Research Domain Criteria project, that have established frameworks for the neuroscience of psychiatric disorders are discussed. Three domains-executive function, incentive salience, and negative emotionality-tied to different phases in the cycle of addiction form the core functional elements of ADs. Measurement of these domains in epidemiologic, genetic, clinical, and treatment studies will provide the underpinnings for an understanding of cross-population and temporal variation in addictions, shared mechanisms in addictive disorders, impact of changing environmental influences, and gene identification. Finally, we show that it is practical to implement such a deep neuroclinical assessment using a combination of neuroimaging and performance measures. Neuroclinical assessment is key to reconceptualizing the nosology of ADs on the basis of process and etiology, an advance that can lead to improved prevention and treatment.

Pub.: 17 Jan '16, Pinned: 30 Jul '17

Neurobiological substrates for the dark side of compulsivity in addiction.

Abstract: Drug addiction can be defined by a compulsion to seek and take drug, loss of control in limiting intake, and the emergence of a negative emotional state when access to the drug is prevented. Drug addiction impacts multiple motivational mechanisms and can be conceptualized as a disorder that progresses from impulsivity (positive reinforcement) to compulsivity (negative reinforcement). The construct of negative reinforcement is defined as drug taking that alleviates a negative emotional state. The negative emotional state that drives such negative reinforcement is hypothesized to derive from dysregulation of key neurochemical elements involved in reward and stress within the basal forebrain structures involving the ventral striatum and extended amygdala. Specific neurochemical elements in these structures include not only decreases in reward neurotransmission, such as decreases in dopamine and opioid peptide function in the ventral striatum, but also recruitment of brain stress systems, such as corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF), in the extended amygdala. Acute withdrawal from all major drugs of abuse produces increases in reward thresholds, increases in anxiety-like responses, and increases in extracellular levels of CRF in the central nucleus of the amygdala. CRF receptor antagonists also block excessive drug intake produced by dependence. A brain stress response system is hypothesized to be activated by acute excessive drug intake, to be sensitized during repeated withdrawal, to persist into protracted abstinence, and to contribute to the compulsivity of addiction. Other components of brain stress systems in the extended amygdala that interact with CRF and may contribute to the negative motivational state of withdrawal include norepinephrine, dynorphin, and neuropeptide Y. The combination of loss of reward function and recruitment of brain stress systems provides a powerful neurochemical basis for a negative emotional state that is responsible for the negative reinforcement driving, at least in part, the compulsivity of addiction.

Pub.: 30 Aug '08, Pinned: 30 Jul '17

A unified framework for addiction: vulnerabilities in the decision process.

Abstract: The understanding of decision-making systems has come together in recent years to form a unified theory of decision-making in the mammalian brain as arising from multiple, interacting systems (a planning system, a habit system, and a situation-recognition system). This unified decision-making system has multiple potential access points through which it can be driven to make maladaptive choices, particularly choices that entail seeking of certain drugs or behaviors. We identify 10 key vulnerabilities in the system: (1) moving away from homeostasis, (2) changing allostatic set points, (3) euphorigenic "reward-like" signals, (4) overvaluation in the planning system, (5) incorrect search of situation-action-outcome relationships, (6) misclassification of situations, (7) overvaluation in the habit system, (8) a mismatch in the balance of the two decision systems, (9) over-fast discounting processes, and (10) changed learning rates. These vulnerabilities provide a taxonomy of potential problems with decision-making systems. Although each vulnerability can drive an agent to return to the addictive choice, each vulnerability also implies a characteristic symptomology. Different drugs, different behaviors, and different individuals are likely to access different vulnerabilities. This has implications for an individual's susceptibility to addiction and the transition to addiction, for the potential for relapse, and for the potential for treatment.

Pub.: 30 Jul '08, Pinned: 30 Jul '17