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Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2013 Apr;226(4):659-72. doi: 10.1007/s00213-012-2750-9. Epub 2012 May 26.

Learning to forget: manipulating extinction and reconsolidation processes to treat addiction.

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry, Division of Molecular Psychiatry, S301, Yale University School of Medicine, Connecticut Mental Health Center, Ribicoff Research Laboratories, 34 Park St., New Haven, CT 06508, USA. mtorregrossa@gmail.com

Abstract

Finding effective long-lasting treatments for drug addiction has been an elusive goal. Consequently, researchers are beginning to investigate novel treatment strategies including manipulations of drug-associated memories. When environmental stimuli (cues) become associated with drug use, they become powerful motivators of continued drug use and relapse after abstinence. Reducing the strength of these cue-drug memories could decrease the number of factors that induce craving and relapse to aid in the treatment of addiction. Enhancing the consolidation of extinction learning and/or disrupting cue-drug memory reconsolidation are two strategies that have been proposed to reduce the strength of cues in motivating drug-seeking and drug-taking behavior. Here, we review the latest basic and clinical research elucidating the mechanisms underlying consolidation of extinction and reconsolidation of cue-drug memories in the hopes of developing pharmacological tools that exploit these signaling systems to treat addiction.

PMID:
22638814
PMCID:
PMC3466391
DOI:
10.1007/s00213-012-2750-9
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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