Drugs And The Brain (2)

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  • 1. Drugs and the brain Frans Koopmans, MA De Hoop Foundation
  • 2. Drugs and the brain
    • The Brain
    • The brain is highly organized into a number of different regions with specialized functions
      • Hindbrain (maintenance of life: breathing control, wakefulness)
      • Midbrain (motivation, learning, reinforcing pleasurable behaviour)
      • Forebrain (abstract thought, planning, associations of thoughts and memories)
  • 3. Drugs and the brain
  • 4. Drugs and the brain The Brain
  • 5. Drugs and the brain The Brain – major regions
  • 6. Drugs and the brain The Brain – areas of the cerebral cortex
  • 7. Drugs and the brain The Brain – the reward system
  • 8. Drugs and the brain Neurons, Brain Chemistry and Neurotransmission
  • 9. Drugs and the brain Neurons, Brain Chemistry and Neurotransmission
  • 10. Drugs and the brain Neurons, Brain Chemistry and Neurotransmission
  • 11. Drugs and the brain
    • Neurotransmitters
    • Communication in the brain through chemical messengers (neurotransmitters)
    • Neurotransmitters have specific structures and functions.
      • Which chemical is released depends upon the type of neuron.
      • Each specific neurotransmitter binds to a specific receptor (lock/key)
  • 12. Drugs and the brain Neurons, Brain Chemistry and Neurotransmission
  • 13. Drugs and the brain Neurons, Brain Chemistry and Neurotransmission
  • 14. Drugs and the brain
    • Psychoactive substances
    • Psychoactive substances mimic the effects of neurotransmitters or interfere or even block normal function
      • PA substances that bind and enhance the function of receptors: agonists
      • PA substances that block normal functioning: antagonists
  • 15. Drugs and the brain Drugs change the way Neurons communicate
  • 16. Drugs and the brain Source: Science & Practice Perpectives (NIDA, april 2007)
  • 17. Drugs and the brain
    • Dependence
    • Dependence is the result of a complex interaction of the physiological effects of substances on brain areas associated with motivation and emotion, combined with ‘learning’ about the relationship between substances and substance-related cues.
  • 18. Drugs and the brain
    • Mesolimbic dopamine pathway
    • Many psychoactive substances activate the mesolimbic dopamine pathway (located in the midbrain)
    • Most strongly implicated in the dependence-producing potential of psychoactive substances
  • 19. Drugs and the brain
    • Mesolimbic dopamine pathway (MDP)
    • MDP closely involved in motivational processes
      • Motivation : allotment of attentional and behavioral resources to stimuli in relation to their predicted consequences
      • Incentives : stimuli that elicit a response on the basis of their predicted consequences
  • 20. Drugs and the brain
    • Two important areas
    • Ventral Tegmental Area (VTA) – rich in neurons containing dopamine (emotions, thoughts, memories, planning, executing behavior)
    • Nucleus Accumbens (NAc) – related to motivation and learning, signalling the motivational value of stimuli
  • 21. Drugs and the brain Source: NIDA website http://www.drugabuse.gov/pubs/teaching Mesolimbic dopamine pathway
  • 22. Drugs and the brain Major brain regions with roles in addiction Source: Science & Practice Perpectives (NIDA, april 2007)
  • 23. Drugs and the brain
    • Brain regions and function
    • The prefrontal cortex is the focal area for cognition and planning.
    • The ventral tegmental area (VTA) and nucleus accumbens (NAc) are key components of the brain’s reward system.
    • The VTA, NAc, amygdala, and hippocampus are major components of the limbic system, which coordinates drives, emotions, and memories.
  • 24. Drugs and the brain
    • Brain Imaging Techniques
    • Structural Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
    • Functional MRI
    • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (MRS)
    • Positron Emission Tomography (PET)
    • Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT)
  • 25. Drugs and the brain
    • Brain Imaging Techniques  knowledge:
    • Brain anatomy and tissue composition
    • Biochemical, physiological and functional processes
    • Neurotransmitter activity
    • Energy utilization and blood flow
    • Drug distribution and kinetics
  • 26. Drugs and the brain Brain Imaging Techniques used in drug abuse research Source: Science & Practice Perpectives (NIDA, april 2007)
  • 27. Drugs and the brain The Brain on cocaine
  • 28. Drugs and the brain The Brain on cocaine
  • 29. Drugs and the brain The Brain on opiates
  • 30. Drugs and the brain The Brain on THC
  • 31. Drugs and the brain Drugs of abuse all activate the reward system via increasing dopamine neurotransmission