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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1996 Oct 15;93(21):12040-5.

Activation of memory circuits during cue-elicited cocaine craving.

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  • 1Intramural Research Program, National Institute on Drug Abuse, Baltimore, MD 21224, USA.


Evidence accumulated over more than 45 years has indicated that environmental stimuli can induce craving for drugs of abuse in individuals who have addictive disorders. However, the brain mechanisms that subserve such craving have not been elucidated. Here a positron emission tomographic study shows increased glucose metabolism in cortical and limbic regions implicated in several forms of memory when human volunteers who abuse cocaine are exposed to drug-related stimuli. Correlations of metabolic increases in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, medial temporal lobe (amygdala), and cerebellum with self-reports of craving suggest that a distributed neural network, which integrates emotional and cognitive aspects of memory, links environmental cues with cocaine craving.

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