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Drug Alcohol Depend. 2012 May 1;122(3):228-35. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2011.10.002. Epub 2011 Oct 29.

A preliminary study of the neural effects of behavioral therapy for substance use disorders.

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry, Division of Substance Abuse, Yale University School of Medicine, Connecticut Mental Health Center, United States. elise.devito@yale.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The mechanisms by which behavioral therapies for substance use disorders (SUDs) exert their effects and the components of treatment that contribute most to substance use outcome remain unclear. Disruptions to aspects of impulse control and attention have been hypothesized to contribute to the development and maintenance of addiction; moreover, alterations in these processes may underlie responses to treatment.

METHODS:

Individuals participating in a randomized clinical trial evaluating computer-assisted cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for substance abuse participated in fMRI Stroop before and after treatment. A non-substance-using comparison group performed the same task under test-retest conditions.

RESULTS:

The patient group demonstrated decreased Stroop-related BOLD signal in regions including the anterior cingulate, inferior frontal gyrus and midbrain at post-treatment relative to pre-treatment, and displayed a greater decrease in the subthalamic nucleus and surrounding regions compared to healthy controls following test-retest.

CONCLUSIONS:

Behavioral therapies may be associated with reduction in substance use and effects on neural systems involved in cognitive control, impulsivity, motivation and attention.

PMID:
22041256
PMCID:
PMC3296894
DOI:
10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2011.10.002
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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