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Author: Corinde E Wiers (29)



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Jan
2018

Alcohol's reinforcement is mediated by dopamine signaling in the ventral striatum, which is modulated by the dopamine transporter (DAT). We hypothesized that methylomic variation in the DAT gene (DAT1/SLC6A3) affects DAT expression, thus contributing to differences in brain reward circuitry in individuals with alcohol dependence (ALC).
Blood from 45 recently detoxified ALC and 45 healthy control (HC) individuals was used to assess DNA methylation across 5 functional regions of SLC6A3.

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Sep
2017

Regular alcohol consumption affects cognitive performance and the development of dementia. So far, findings are contradicting, which might be explained in part by dose-related effects. For this narrative review, we undertook a literature search for surveys investigating the impact of alcohol consumption on cognitive performance and the development of dementia.

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Jan
2018

Drugs and food both exert a rewarding effect through the firing of dopamine neurons in the ventral tegmental area, resulting in the release of dopamine into the nucleus accumbens and effects on the mesolimbic pathway. Here, we review the neuroimaging literature to consider the validity of food addiction and the common neurobiological mechanisms that overlap in food and drug addiction. This review paper focuses on findings from Positron Emission Tomography (PET), functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) and structural imaging studies, as well as evidence from neuroimaging studies of bariatric surgery and pharmacological interventions on obese individuals.

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Jul
2017

Alcohol-related cues can evoke explicit and implicit motivation to drink alcohol. Concerning the links between explicit and implicit motivation, there are mixed findings. Therefore, we investigated both concepts in 51 healthy 18- to 19-year-old males, who are less affected by neuropsychological deficits in decision-making that are attributed to previous alcohol exposure than older participants.

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Nov
2017

To assess how tobacco smoking status affects baseline dopamine D2/D3 (D2R) receptor availability and methylphenidate-induced dopamine (DA) release, we retrospectively analyzed D2R availability measures of 8 current smokers, 10 ex-smokers, and 18 nonsmokers who were scanned with positron emission tomography and [C]raclopride, after administration of an injection of placebo or 0.5 mg/kg i.v.

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Dec
2017

It remains unclear whether resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rfMRI) networks are associated with underlying synchrony in energy demand, as measured by dynamic 2-deoxy-2-[F]fluoroglucose (FDG) positron emission tomography (PET). We measured absolute glucose metabolism, temporal metabolic connectivity (t-MC) and rfMRI patterns in 53 healthy participants at rest. Twenty-two rfMRI networks emerged from group independent component analysis (gICA).

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May
2017

The role of the protein kinase Akt1 in dopamine neurotransmission is well recognized and has been implicated in schizophrenia and psychosis. However, the extent to which variants in thegene influence dopamine neurotransmission is not well understood. Here we investigated the effect of a newly characterized variant number tandem repeat (VNTR) polymorphism in[major alleles: L- (eight repeats) and H- (nine repeats)] on striatal dopamine D2/D3 receptor (DRD2) availability and on dopamine release in healthy volunteers.

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Aug
2017

The use of Positron emission tomography (PET) to study the effects of acute and chronic alcohol on the human brain has enhanced our understanding of the mechanisms underlying alcohol's rewarding effects, the neuroadaptations from chronic exposure that contribute to tolerance and withdrawal, and the changes in fronto-striatal circuits that lead to loss of control and enhanced motivation to drink that characterize alcohol use disorders (AUD). These include studies showing that alcohol's reinforcing effects may result not only from its enhancement of dopaminergic, GABAergic and opioid signaling but also from its caloric properties. Studies in those suffering from an AUD have revealed significant alterations in dopamine (DA), GABA, cannabinoids, opioid and serotonin neurotransmission and in brain energy utilization (glucose and acetate metabolism) that are likely to contribute to compulsive alcohol taking, dysphoria/depression, and to alcohol-associated neurotoxicity.

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Dec
1969

Alcohol use disorder (AUD) with harmful drinking patterns is on the one hand characterized by impulsive behavior and is on the other hand known to involve structural brain alterations with lower gray matter volume (GMV), especially in the prefrontal cortex (PFC). So far it is unclear whether frontal brain volumes are associated to harmful alcohol drinking and impulsivity, while controlling simultaneously for a wide array of important confounding factors, which are related to alcohol consumption. We used voxel-based morphometry in 99 adults ranging within a continuum of normal to harmful drinking behavior and alcohol dependence, measured by the 'Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test', to examine whether the severity of harmful drinking is correlated with structural markers, in particular in the PFC and whether such markers are linked to self-reported impulsivity.

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May
2017

Cognitive bias modification (CBM) was first developed as an experimental tool to examine the causal role of cognitive biases, and later developed into complementary interventions in experimental psychopathology research. CBM involves the "re-training" of implicit biases by means of multiple trials of computerized tasks, and has been demonstrated to change anxious, depressive and drug-seeking behavior, including clinically relevant effects. Recently, the field has progressed by combining CBM with neuroimaging techniques, which provides insight into neural mechanisms underlying how CBM affects implicit biases in anxiety, depression, and addiction, and potentially other pathologies.

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Dec
1969

Neuroimaging techniques to measure the function and biochemistry of the human brain such as positron emission tomography (PET), proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy ((1)H MRS), and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), are powerful tools for assessing neurobiological mechanisms underlying the response to treatments in substance use disorders. Here, we review the neuroimaging literature on pharmacological and behavioral treatment in substance use disorder. We focus on neural effects of medications that reduce craving (e.

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Dec
1969

The extent to which cannabis is deleterious to the human brain is not well understood. Here, we test whether cannabis abusers (CA) have impaired frontal function and reactivity to dopaminergic signaling, which are fundamental to relapse in addiction. We measured brain glucose metabolism using PET and [(18)F]FDG both at baseline (placebo) and after challenge with methylphenidate (MP), a dopamine-enhancing drug, in 24 active CA (50% female) and 24 controls (HC; 50% female).

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Apr
2016

The maintenance of harmful alcohol use can be considered a reiterated decision in favour of alcohol in concrete drinking occasions. These decisions are often made despite an intention to quit or reduce alcohol consumption. We tested if a hyperactive reward system and/or an impaired cognitive control system contribute to such unfavourable decision-making.

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Feb
2016

This study aimed to investigate the development of opioid tolerance in patients receiving long-term methadone maintenance treatment (MMT).
A region-wide cross-sectional study was performed focusing on dosage and duration of treatment. Differences between racemic methadone and levomethadone were examined.

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Mar
2016

Positron emission tomography (PET) studies in animals and humans have shown that social status is associated with striatal dopamine D2/D3 receptor (D2/D3R) availability. That is, higher social hierarchy and higher scores on questionnaires assessing social status correlated positively with striatal D2/D3R availability in animals and humans respectively. Furthermore, subordinate monkeys were vulnerable to cocaine self-administration, suggesting that alternations in social hierarchy can change D2/D3R availability and vulnerability to cocaine use.

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Dec
1969

Cognitive retraining or cognitive bias modification (CBM) involves having subjects repeatedly perform a computerized task designed to reduce the impact of automatic processes that lead to harmful behavior. We first discuss the theory underlying CBM and provide a brief overview of important research progress in its application to addiction. We then focus on cognitive- and neural-mediating mechanisms.

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Dec
1969

Positron emission tomography (PET) has been shown to be an effective imaging technique to study neurometabolic and neurochemical processes involved in addiction. That is, PET has been used to research neurobiological differences in substance abusers versus healthy controls and the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of abused drugs. Over the past years, the research scope has shifted to investigating neurobiological effects of abstinence and treatment, and their predictive power for relapse and other clinical outcomes.

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Dec
1969

Humans value rewards less when these are delivered in the future as opposed to immediately, a phenomenon referred to as delay discounting. While delay discounting has been studied during the anticipation of rewards and in the context of intertemporal decision-making, little is known about its neural correlates in the outcome phase (during reward delivery) and their relation to personality. Personality traits that have been associated with increased delay discounting include impulsivity and, potentially, anxious-depressive traits.

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Aug
2015

Impairment in inhibitory control has been proposed to contribute to habitual alcohol use, abuse and eventually dependence. Moreover, alcohol-dependent (AD) patients have shown a loss of gray matter volume (GMV) in the brain, specifically in prefrontal regions associated with executive functions, including response inhibition. To date, no study has evaluated whether this prefrontal GMV reduction is related to response inhibition in alcohol dependence.

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Sep
2015

Alcohol-dependent patients have been shown to faster approach than avoid alcohol stimuli on the Approach Avoidance Task (AAT). This so-called alcohol approach bias has been associated with increased brain activation in the medial prefrontal cortex and nucleus accumbens. Cognitive bias modification (CBM) has been used to retrain the approach bias with the clinically relevant effect of decreasing relapse rates one year later.

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Apr
2015

In alcohol-dependent patients, alcohol cues evoke increased activation in mesolimbic brain areas, such as the nucleus accumbens and the amygdala. Moreover, patients show an alcohol approach bias, a tendency to more quickly approach than avoid alcohol cues. Cognitive bias modification training, which aims to retrain approach biases, has been shown to reduce alcohol craving and relapse rates.

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Sep
2014

Coordinated triadic interactions, involving oneself, another person, and an external object, are considered a uniquely human skill. However, the exact mechanisms underlying the ability to engage in such social interactions remain hitherto unknown. We used functional neuroimaging to investigate the neural signature of triadic interactions.

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Feb
2014

Behavioral studies have shown an alcohol-approach bias in alcohol-dependent patients: the automatic tendency to faster approach than avoid alcohol compared with neutral cues, which has been associated with craving and relapse. Although this is a well-studied psychological phenomenon, little is known about the brain processes underlying automatic action tendencies in addiction. We examined 20 alcohol-dependent patients and 17 healthy controls with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), while performing an implicit approach-avoidance task.

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Sep
2013

Drug-addicted individuals show automatic approach tendencies towards drug-related cues, i.e., an approach bias (ApB).

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Apr
2012

Methylation and the human brain: towards a new discipline of imaging epigenetics.

Eur Arch Psychiatry Clin Neurosci 2012 Apr 24;262(3):271-3. Epub 2011 Sep 24.
Corinde E Wiers
The field of imaging genetics traditionally studies unidirectional associations between genes, brain functioning, and behavior. In a recent study by Ursini et al. (J Neurosci 31:6692-6698, 2011), imaging genetics methods are combined with epigenetic marks in living human beings.

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