The neurobiology of stress as a relapse factor in addiction
Open lecture by Markus Heilig, Linköping University
Photo: Linköping Universiy
About the lecture
Research on the neural substrates of drug reward, withdrawal and relapse has yet to be translated into significant advances in the treatment of addiction. One potential reason is that this research has not captured a common feature of human addiction: progressive social exclusion and marginalization. We have recently proposed (Heilig et al. Nat Rev Neurosci 2016) that research aimed at understanding the neural mechanisms that link processes of social stress to drug seeking and drug taking would help to make addiction neuroscience research more clinically relevant.
About the lecturer
Markus Heilig is the director of the Centre for Social and Affective Neuroscience (CSAN), where knowledge and methods from different fields of neuroscience, both basal and clinical, are integrated. Collaboration between the health sciences, brain research and psychiatry is the only way forward to getting at the increase in alcohol-related diseases.
With the help of images taken with an MRI scanner, brain research has come a long way towards understanding the mechanisms that control drug and alcohol dependency. Psychiatry has also made advances, but the two have never met. This is one of the problems Professor Heilig hopes he will be able to solve.