"Brain Imaging Reveals Why Cocaine Habits Are So Hard To Break" - Megan Brooks
People addicted to cocaine often find that the drug is much less enjoyable after years of use, yet they have great difficulty quitting. A new brain imaging study shows why this may be so and also why extinction-based therapy may not be effective for cocaine users. The study, led by researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, found that in long-term cocaine users, there is global impairment in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (VMPFC), an area of the brain that is linked to impulse and self-control. "There is a strong impetus for extinction-based therapy in addiction, but our findings highlight potential limitations of these existing therapies in their reliance on the VMPFC to achieve therapeutic benefits," said senior investigator Rita Goldstein, PhD, professor of psychiatry and neuroscience at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and director of neuropsychoimaging of addiction and related conditions research program at Mount Sinai.
- Rita Goldstein, PhD, Professor, Psychiatry, Neuroscience, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Chief, Brain Imaging Core, Director, Neuropsychoimaging of Addiction and Related Conditions Research Program