Author: Yoshitaka Kumakara (1)
Chronic alcohol intake abolishes the relationship between dopamine synthesis capacity and learning signals in the ventral striatum.Eur J Neurosci 2015 Feb 26;41(4):477-86. Epub 2014 Dec 26.Lorenz Deserno, Anne Beck, Quentin J M Huys, Robert C Lorenz, Ralph Buchert, Hans-Georg Buchholz, Michail Plotkin, Yoshitaka Kumakara, Paul Cumming, Hans-Jochen Heinze, Anthony A Grace, Michael A Rapp, Florian Schlagenhauf, Andreas Heinz
Drugs of abuse elicit dopamine release in the ventral striatum, possibly biasing dopamine-driven reinforcement learning towards drug-related reward at the expense of non-drug-related reward. Indeed, in alcohol-dependent patients, reactivity in dopaminergic target areas is shifted from non-drug-related stimuli towards drug-related stimuli. Such 'hijacked' dopamine signals may impair flexible learning from non-drug-related rewards, and thus promote craving for the drug of abuse.
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