Home > Brain reward circuitry: the overlapping neurobiology of trauma and substance use disorders.

Michaels, Timothy I and Stone, Emily and Singal, Sonali and Novakovic, Vladan and Barkin, Robert L and Barkin, Stacy (2021) Brain reward circuitry: the overlapping neurobiology of trauma and substance use disorders. World Journal of Psychiatry, 11, (6), pp. 222-231. doi: 10.5498/wjp.v11.i6.222.

External website: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC82095...

Mental health symptoms secondary to trauma exposure and substance use disorders (SUDs) co-occur frequently in both clinical and community samples. The possibility of a shared aetiology remains an important question in translational neuroscience. Advancements in genetics, basic science, and neuroimaging have led to an improved understanding of the neural basis of these disorders, their frequent comorbidity and high rates of relapse remain a clinical challenge. This project aimed to conduct a review of the field's current understanding regarding the neural circuitry underlying posttraumatic stress disorder and SUD.

A comprehensive review was conducted of available published literature regarding the shared neurobiology of these disorders, and is summarized in detail, including evidence from both animal and clinical studies. Upon summarizing the relevant literature, this review puts forth a hypothesis related to their shared neurobiology within the context of fear processing and reward cues. It provides an overview of brain reward circuitry and its relation to the neurobiology, symptomology, and phenomenology of trauma and substance use. This review provides clinical insights and implications of the proposed theory, including the potential development of novel pharmacological and therapeutic treatments to address this shared neurobiology. Limitations and extensions of this theory are discussed to provide future directions and insights for this shared phenomena.

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