Pavlovian-to-instrumental transfer effects in the nucleus accumbens relate to relapse in alcohol dependence
Maria Garbusow, Daniel J. Schad, Miriam Sebold, Eva Friedel, Nadine Bernhardt, Stefan P. Koch, Bruno Steinacher, Norbert Kathmann, Dirk E. M. Geurts, Christian Sommer, Dirk K. Müller, Stephan Nebe, Sören Paul, Hans-Ulrich Wittchen, Ulrich S. Zimmermann, Henrik Walter, Michael N. Smolka, Philipp Sterzer, Michael A. Rapp, Quentin J. M. Huys, Florian Schlagenhauf and Andreas Heinz
Article first published online: 1 APR 2015 | DOI: 10.1111/adb.12243
To date mechanisms by which contextual stimuli promote relapse in detoxified alcohol-dependent patients have not been elucidated. One hypothesis is that contextual stimuli stimulate the motivation to drink (Pavlovian-to-Instrumental-Transfer; PIT) via associated brain regions like the ventral striatum and thus promote relapse. Using a PIT paradigm during fMRI, we observed that PIT-related Nucleus Accumbens activation was associated with and predictive of relapse during a three months follow up period in detoxified alcohol-dependent patients.