'Loss of control' in alcoholism and drug addiction: A neuroscientific interpretation

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Abstract

Considerable neurological evidence indicates that the prefrontal cortex mediates complex 'executive' functions including behavioral autonomy and self-control. Given that impairments of self-control are characteristic of alcoholism and other drug addictions, frontal lobe dysfunction may play a significant role in such compulsive behaviors. Consistent with this idea, recent research using brain imaging, neuropsychological testing, and other techniques has revealed that the frontal lobes are particularly vulnerable to the acute and chronic effects of addictive drugs, especially alcohol and cocaine. Evidence implicating a hyperdopaminergic mechanism of acute and chronic drug-induced frontal lobe dysfunction and interactions with premorbid factors and stress are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)225-249
Number of pages25
JournalExperimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology
Volume8
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2000

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Frontal Lobe
Alcoholism
Substance-Related Disorders
Compulsive Behavior
Executive Function
Prefrontal Cortex
Cocaine
Neuroimaging
Pharmaceutical Preparations
Alcohols
Research
Self-Control

Cite this

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'Loss of control' in alcoholism and drug addiction : A neuroscientific interpretation. / Lyvers, M.

In: Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology, Vol. 8, No. 2, 2000, p. 225-249.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleResearchpeer-review

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