Manipulating Addictive Behaviour in Animal Models
Drug addiction is a chronic relapsing disorder, characterized by compulsive use of drugs of abuse, loss of control in limiting intake and continuation of consumption despite negative consequences to health and the social environment. Despite the rapid development of imaging techniques that reveal brain activity changes in human addicts, animal models of addiction are indispensable for more in-depth analysis of the underlying neurobiological mechanisms at the cellular and molecular level and to explore novel treatment options. Such animal studies have contributed greatly to our knowledge on the immediate impact of drugs on behaviour and neurobiological mechanisms, the long-term effects of prolonged drug intake on these processes and the pharmacological and neuroanatomical aspects of drug-taking and drug-seeking. With increasing interest in using deep brain stimulation (DBS) for treatment of otherwise refractory drug dependence, animal models can help to define the optimal brain target for DBS and provide useful insights into the neurobiological mechanisms underlying the beneficial effects of DBS treatment. In this chapter, we discuss the validity of animal models of addiction and provide an overview of recent studies that applied DBS techniques to manipulate addictive behaviour in laboratory animals.
KeywordsDeep Brain Stimulation Ventral Tegmental Area Conditioned Place Preference Dorsal Striatum Extinction Training
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