Synaptic plasticity in addiction

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

Drug addiction, defined as compulsive drug use despite serious negative consequences, has been one of the major social problems facing modern societies. A growing body of evidence suggests that drug exposure induces a series of adaptive changes within the brain reward circuitry, some of which are extremely long-lasting and which may mediate maladaptive emotion/reward learning and memory, thus leading to addiction. Here, we review recent findings concerning drug-induced neuronal plasticity occurring at excitatory synapses in the brain areas that make up the reward circuitry. Given that the synapse plays a critical role in neuronal plasticity, drug-induced synaptic plasticity may critically mediate the formation of drug-related memories and thereby, addictive behaviors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSynaptic Plasticity
Subtitle of host publicationCell Biology, Regulation and Role in Disease
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Pages125-147
Number of pages23
ISBN (Print)9781620810040
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2012

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this

Dong, Y., & Zukin, R. S. (2012). Synaptic plasticity in addiction. In Synaptic Plasticity: Cell Biology, Regulation and Role in Disease (pp. 125-147). Nova Science Publishers, Inc..