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Sunderland Repository records the research produced by the University of Sunderland including practice-based research and theses.

Abnormalities of Neurotransmission in Drug Addiction

Trick, Leanne, Butler, Kevin, Chukwueke, Chidera, Di Ciano, Patricia, Ibrahim, Christine, Rubin-Kahana, Dafna Sara, Boileau, Isabelle and Le Foll, Bernard (2020) Abnormalities of Neurotransmission in Drug Addiction. In: PET and SPECT in Psychiatry. Springer, pp. 653-712. ISBN 9783030572303

Item Type: Book Section


Substance use disorders are prevalent and severe conditions associated with numerous health, social, and economic harms. While the neurobiological mechanisms are still not fully understood, adaptations in multiple neurotransmitter systems have been implicated in the development and maintenance of substance use disorders. The advent of molecular imaging techniques has provided a unique opportunity to better understand abnormalities of neurotransmission in humans with substance use disorders, and this insight may ultimately lead to improved treatment options in the future. This chapter provides a summary of positron emission tomography (PET) and single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) studies in humans with alcohol, tobacco, cannabis, opioid, and stimulant use disorders. Studies to date provide consistent evidence that the dopaminergic system is disrupted in populations with substance use disorders, although there has been little research in other neurotransmitter systems and findings of existing studies have been mixed. Many PET and SPECT studies investigating abnormalities of neurotransmission in substance use disorder are limited by small sample sizes and over-reliance on male samples without comorbid conditions. In addition, the use of cross-sectional study designs does not make it possible to draw conclusions about causality.

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More Information

Depositing User: Leah Maughan


Item ID: 13767
Identification Number:
ISBN: 9783030572303
Official URL:

Users with ORCIDS

ORCID for Kevin Butler: ORCID iD

Catalogue record

Date Deposited: 22 Jul 2021 13:23
Last Modified: 22 Jul 2021 13:23


Author: Kevin Butler ORCID iD
Author: Leanne Trick
Author: Chidera Chukwueke
Author: Patricia Di Ciano
Author: Christine Ibrahim
Author: Dafna Sara Rubin-Kahana
Author: Isabelle Boileau
Author: Bernard Le Foll

University Divisions

Faculty of Health Sciences and Wellbeing > School of Psychology

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