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      High Impulsivity Predicts the Switch to Compulsive Cocaine-Taking

      , , , ,
      Science
      American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)

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          Abstract

          Both impulsivity and novelty-seeking have been suggested to be behavioral markers of the propensity to take addictive drugs. However, their relevance for the vulnerability to compulsively seek and take drugs, which is a hallmark feature of addiction, is unknown. We report here that, whereas high reactivity to novelty predicts the propensity to initiate cocaine self-administration, high impulsivity predicts the development of addiction-like behavior in rats, including persistent or compulsive drug-taking in the face of aversive outcomes. This study shows experimental evidence that a shift from impulsivity to compulsivity occurs during the development of addictive behavior, which provides insights into the genesis and neural mechanisms of drug addiction.

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          Most cited references21

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          Varieties of impulsivity.

          J Evenden (1999)
          The concept of impulsivity covers a wide range of "actions that are poorly conceived, prematurely expressed, unduly risky, or inappropriate to the situation and that often result in undesirable outcomes". As such it plays an important role in normal behaviour, as well as, in a pathological form, in many kinds of mental illness such as mania, personality disorders, substance abuse disorders and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Although evidence from psychological studies of human personality suggests that impulsivity may be made up of several independent factors, this has not made a major impact on biological studies of impulsivity. This may be because there is little unanimity as to which these factors are. The present review summarises evidence for varieties of impulsivity from several different areas of research: human psychology, psychiatry and animal behaviour. Recently, a series of psychopharmacological studies has been carried out by the present author and colleagues using methods proposed to measure selectively different aspects of impulsivity. The results of these studies suggest that several neurochemical mechanisms can influence impulsivity, and that impulsive behaviour has no unique neurobiological basis. Consideration of impulsivity as the result of several different, independent factors which interact to modulate behaviour may provide better insight into the pathology than current hypotheses based on serotonergic underactivity.
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            Striatonigrostriatal pathways in primates form an ascending spiral from the shell to the dorsolateral striatum.

            Clinical manifestations in diseases affecting the dopamine system include deficits in emotional, cognitive, and motor function. Although the parallel organization of specific corticostriatal pathways is well documented, mechanisms by which dopamine might integrate information across different cortical/basal ganglia circuits are less well understood. We analyzed a collection of retrograde and anterograde tracing studies to understand how the striatonigrostriatal (SNS) subcircuit directs information flow between ventromedial (limbic), central (associative), and dorsolateral (motor) striatal regions. When viewed as a whole, the ventromedial striatum projects to a wide range of the dopamine cells and receives a relatively small dopamine input. In contrast, the dorsolateral striatum (DLS) receives input from a broad expanse of dopamine cells and has a confined input to the substantia nigra (SN). The central striatum (CS) receives input from and projects to a relatively wide range of the SN. The SNS projection from each striatal region contains three substantia nigra components: a dorsal group of nigrostriatal projecting cells, a central region containing both nigrostriatal projecting cells and its reciprocal striatonigral terminal fields, and a ventral region that receives a specific striatonigral projection but does not contain its reciprocal nigrostriatal projection. Examination of results from multiple tracing experiments simultaneously demonstrates an interface between different striatal regions via the midbrain dopamine cells that forms an ascending spiral between regions. The shell influences the core, the core influences the central striatum, and the central striatum influences the dorsolateral striatum. This anatomical arrangement creates a hierarchy of information flow and provides an anatomical basis for the limbic/cognitive/motor interface via the ventral midbrain.
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              Nucleus accumbens D2/3 receptors predict trait impulsivity and cocaine reinforcement.

              Stimulant addiction is often linked to excessive risk taking, sensation seeking, and impulsivity, but in ways that are poorly understood. We report here that a form of impulsivity in rats predicts high rates of intravenous cocaine self-administration and is associated with changes in dopamine (DA) function before drug exposure. Using positron emission tomography, we demonstrated that D2/3 receptor availability is significantly reduced in the nucleus accumbens of impulsive rats that were never exposed to cocaine and that such effects are independent of DA release. These data demonstrate that trait impulsivity predicts cocaine reinforcement and that D2 receptor dysfunction in abstinent cocaine addicts may, in part, be determined by premorbid influences.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Science
                Science
                American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
                0036-8075
                1095-9203
                June 06 2008
                June 06 2008
                : 320
                : 5881
                : 1352-1355
                Article
                10.1126/science.1158136
                2478705
                18535246
                0b6064ea-9653-4ea8-b33c-490305b383ee
                © 2008
                History

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