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Am J Psychiatry. 2001 Oct;158(10):1680-6.

Changes in regional cerebral blood flow elicited by craving memories in abstinent opiate-dependent subjects.

Author information

  • 1Psychopharmacology Unit, School of Medical Sciences, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The brain circuitry of opiate craving was investigated with positron emission tomography (PET) imaging of regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF).

METHOD:

Twelve abstinent opiate-dependent subjects listened to audiotaped autobiographical scripts of an episode of craving and a neutral episode while undergoing a PET scan with the tracer [(15)O]H(2)O. Statistical parametric mapping was used to analyze the PET images of rCBF changes.

RESULTS:

Comparison of the drug-related and neutral stimulus conditions revealed activation of rCBF in the left medial prefrontal and left anterior cingulate cortices and deactivation in the occipital cortex in response to the drug-related stimulus. A further statistical parametric mapping analysis with a subjective rating of craving as a covariate showed a positive association of between craving and rCBF in the left orbitofrontal cortex.

CONCLUSIONS:

The patterns of cerebral activation reflect the different brain regions mediating the salience of opiate-related stimuli and the subjective experience of craving for opiates.

PMID:
11579002
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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