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The Neural Mechanisms of Reward and Addiction: A Review of the Role of Dopamine in Cocaine Addiction
University of Skövde, School of Bioscience.
2018 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 15 credits / 22,5 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Cocaine is known for its severe addictive properties and still, there is no effective treatment for cocaine addiction. Cocaine is a powerful chemical substance. It enters the brain rapidly and cause abnormal high levels of dopamine. Dopamine is found to be the neural correlate for reward. Addictive drugs such as cocaine are reported to be rewarding and initially generate many dimensions of positive effects. However, repeated cocaine use are associated with both structural and functional abnormalities in several brain regions, especially in areas responsible for voluntary control. Loss of control gives way to compulsive consumption and craving for more cocaine stimulation. These neuronal changes and negative symptoms tend to occur gradually, while the tolerance increases. The addicted individual has to enhance the dose in order to obtain the desired effect, which is; becoming physically dependent of a substance. Also, dysregulation of reward circuitries causes decreased sensitivity to natural rewards leading to increased interest in cocaine-related reward stimulation. The abstinence usually last for long time, even years, after self-administration, which makes addicts highly sensitive to relapse. Up to date, effective therapeutic interventions and pharmacological treatments are limited. Neurostimulation techniques such as DBS have shown positive results in regulation of dopaminergic excitability. Though, more research in the complexity of dopamine and mesolimbic areas is well needed, in order to better understand the neural basis of cocaine addiction and be able to offer evidence-based treatments. This thesis will provide an overview of the neuronal impact of cocaine on the dopaminergic reward circuitries in the brain.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. , p. 37
Keywords [en]
neural communication, dopamine, reward, addiction, cocaine
National Category
Neurosciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:his:diva-15704OAI: oai:DiVA.org:his-15704DiVA, id: diva2:1220839
Subject / course
Cognitive Neuroscience
Educational program
Psychological Coach
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2018-06-21 Created: 2018-06-19 Last updated: 2018-06-21Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
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  • asciidoc
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