Addictions: Pathogenesis

Mesolimbic Dopaminergic ...

Addictions: Pathogenesis

Mesolimbic Dopaminergic Pathway:

 • Dopaminergic neurons in Ventral Tegmental Area (VTA) in midbrain under continuous GABA inhibition

 • When stimulated by reinforcing stimuli (food, sex, drugs), the VTA releases dopamine into the Nucleus Accumbens (NAc)

 • The NAC receives additional input from amygdala and hippocampus (emotional context, affective response) 

 • The NAC projects to the basal ganglia (coordinating motivated behaviour) which projects to the prefrontal cortex (processing reward, decision making)

 • Drug-induced increase in dopamine in this pathway motivates further drug use by triggering feelings Of reward or pleasure

 • Occasional recreational use -> impulsive drug administration and poor control -> chronic habitual compulsive use

 • Chronic drug use leads to adaptive morphological changes of neurons in dopamine regulated circuits, which influence addictive behaviours

-> Addiction (Pathological Pattern: Impaired Control, Risky use, Social Impairment, Tolerance and Withdrawal)

#Drug #Addiction #Pathophysiology #Psychiatry #Mesolimbic 
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