Changes in regional cerebral blood flow elicited by craving memories in abstinent opiate-dependent subjects

M. R.C. Daglish, A. Weinstein, A. L. Malizia, S. Wilson, J. K. Melichar, S. Britten, C. Brewer, A. Lingford-Hughes, J. S. Myles, P. Grasby, D. J. Nutt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

149 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: The brain circuitry of opiate craving was investigated with positron emission tomography (PET) imaging of regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF). Method: Twelve abstinent opiate-dependent subjects listened to audiotaped autobiographical scripts of an episode of craving and a neutral episode while undergoing a PET scan with the tracer [15O]H2O. Statistical parametric mapping was used to analyze the PET images of rCBF changes. Results: Comparison of the drug-related and neutral stimulus conditions revealed activation of rCBF in the left medial prefrontal and left anterior cingulate cortices and deactivation in the occipital cortex in response to the drug-related stimulus. A further statistical parametric mapping analysis with a subjective rating of craving as a covariate showed a positive association of between craving and rCBF in the left orbitofrontal cortex. Conclusions: The patterns of cerebral activation reflect the different brain regions mediating the salience of opiate-related stimuli and the subjective experience of craving for opiates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1680-1686
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Psychiatry
Volume158
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes

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