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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Neural substrates of cue reactivity: association with treatment outcomes and relapse.

  • Author(s): Courtney, Kelly E
  • Schacht, Joseph P
  • Hutchison, Kent
  • Roche, Daniel J O
  • Ray, Lara A
  • et al.

Given the strong evidence for neurological alterations at the basis of drug dependence, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) represents an important tool in the clinical neuroscience of addiction. fMRI cue-reactivity paradigms represent an ideal platform to probe the involvement of neurobiological pathways subserving the reward/motivation system in addiction and potentially offer a translational mechanism by which interventions and behavioral predictions can be tested. Thus, this review summarizes the research that has applied fMRI cue-reactivity paradigms to the study of adult substance use disorder treatment responses. Studies utilizing fMRI cue-reactivity paradigms for the prediction of relapse and as a means to investigate psychosocial and pharmacological treatment effects on cue-elicited brain activation are presented within four primary categories of substances: alcohol, nicotine, cocaine and opioids. Lastly, suggestions for how to leverage fMRI technology to advance addiction science and treatment development are provided.

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