Rajita Sinha, PhD, Professor of Psychiatry, Director, Research Program on Stress, Addiction and Psychopathology, and C.-S. R. Li, MD, PhD, Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut, USA.
Imaging stress- and cue-induced drug and alcohol craving: association with relapse and clinical implications
Article first published online: 29 MAY 2009
2007 Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and other Drugs
Drug and Alcohol Review
Volume 26, Issue 1, pages 25–31, January 2007
How to Cite
SINHA, R. and LI, C.-S. R. (2007), Imaging stress- and cue-induced drug and alcohol craving: association with relapse and clinical implications. Drug and Alcohol Review, 26: 25–31. doi: 10.1080/09595230601036960
- Issue published online: 29 MAY 2009
- Article first published online: 29 MAY 2009
- Received 15 May 2006; accepted for publication 22 July 2006.
- drug abuse;
- drug cues;
- emotional stress;
- relapse outcome
Stress- and drug-related cues are major factors contributing to high rates of relapse in addictive disorders. Brain imaging studies have begun to identify neural correlates of stress and drug cue-induced craving states. Findings indicate considerable overlap in neural circuits involved in processing stress and drug cues with activity in the corticostriatal limbic circuitry underlying both affective and reward processing. More recent efforts have begun to identify the relationships between neural activity during stress and drug cue exposure and drug relapse outcomes. Findings suggest medial prefrontal, anterior and posterior cingulate, striatal and posterior insula regions to be associated with relapse outcomes. Altered function in these brain regions is associated with stress-induced and drug cue-induced craving states and an increased susceptibility to relapse. Such alterations can serve as markers to identify relapse propensity and a more severe course of addiction. Efficacy of pharmacological and behavioral treatments that specifically target stress and cue-induced craving and arousal responses may also be assessed via alterations in these brain correlates.