Imaging of the striatal dopamine system continues to dominate studies using positron emission tomography (PET) in substance use disorders (SUD). A key reason for this is the stability of the findings: most studies imaging the dopamine D2 family of receptors (D2R) and stimulant-induced dopamine release show blunting of striatal dopamine transmission in subjects with addiction. This phenotype is seen across SUDs, including cocaine, nicotine, alcohol, opiate, and methamphetamine. Reduced binding at the D2R persists independently of many clinical factors, and this effect is maintained following days to months of abstinence. The functional implications of blunted striatal dopamine transmission in the pathophysiology of addiction are becoming more evident, as shown by animal and human studies, such as that reported in this issue of Biological Psychiatry by Casey et al. (
- Casey K.F.
- Benkelfat C.
- Cherkasova M.V.
- Baker G.B.
- Dagher A.
- Leyton M.
Reduced dopamine response to amphetamine in subjects at ultra-high risk for addiction.
Biol Psychiatry. 2014; 76: 23-30
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Accepted: April 25, 2014
Received: April 24, 2014
© 2014 Society of Biological Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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- Reduced Dopamine Response to Amphetamine in Subjects at Ultra-High Risk for AddictionBiological PsychiatryVol. 76Issue 1