Neurobiology of Addiction is conceived as a current survey and synthesis of the most important findings in our understanding of the neurobiological mechanisms of addiction over the past 50 years. The book includes a scholarly introduction, thorough descriptions of animal models of addiction, and separate chapters on the neurobiological mechanisms of addiction for psychostimulants, opioids, alcohol, nicotine and cannabinoids. Key information is provided about the history, sources, pharmacokinetics and psychopathology of addiction for each drug class, as well as the behavioral and neurobiological mechanism of action at the molecular, cellular and neurocircuitry levels of analysis. A chapter on neuroimaging and drug addiction provides a synthesis of exciting new data from neuroimaging in human addicts — a unique perspective unavailable from animal studies. The final chapters explore theories of addiction at the neurobiological and neuroadaptational levels, both from a historical and integrative perspective.
The book incorporates diverse findings with an emphasis on integration and synthesis rather than discrepancies or differences in the literature.
• Provides a thorough review of the extant literature on the neurobiology of addiction
• Includes extensive explanation of the role of animal models in elucidating the neurobiological mechanisms of addiction and its pathophysiology
• Presents a unique perspective on addiction that emphasizes molecular, cellular and neurocircuitry changes in the transition to addiction
• Synthesizes diverse findings on the neurobiology of addiction to provide a heuristic framework for future work
• Features extensive documentation through numerous original figures and tables that will be useful for understanding and teaching
Reviewer:Raj Tummala, MD(Wyeth Pharmaceuticals)
Description:This is a synopsis of the current understanding of the neurobiological mechanisms of addiction, providing a reference for further research.
Purpose:The purpose is to provide a comprehensive overview of the world's literature on the neurobiology of the five major classes of addiction "under one conceptual framework.
Audience:The book is targeted at anyone dealing with addiction medicine such as students, residents, clinicians, and researchers.
Features:This is a synthesis of the world's literature on the neurobiological basis of addiction on the five major classes of substance abuse: psychostimulants, opioids, alcohol, nicotine and cannabinoids. All of the information presented is primary, referenced with the original graphs and tables. The authors lay a nice foundation with the introductory chapter on "What is Addiction?" by discussing the definitions, diagnostic criteria, and the various biological, psychodynamic, and social perspectives of addiction. Epidemiological and physiological data explain clearly the various neuroadaptational views on addiction. As most of our understanding is based on animal data, the chapter on animal models provides a comprehensive overview of the current models employed in addiction research. The five classes of substances of addiction are presented in a consistent format covering definitions, history, behavioral effects, pharmacokinetics, addiction potential, and neurocircuitry. Of special mention are the detailed sections on the history of the substance and the extensively illustrated sections on the neurocircuitry. The neurobiological mechanisms of addiction are explored at three levels: neurocircuitry or neuropharmacological, cellular, and molecular, and these changes are integrated with human patterns of addiction. To understand the current trends, the chapter on imaging provides a nice synopsis of imaging techniques, current imaging data and the integration of imaging data with neurocircuitry. Supplementing the text are appendixes for the five classes with vignettes. While this is by no means a comprehensive reference, it is an excellent resource to gain an understanding of the current theories of neurobiology of addiction.
Assessment:This synopsis of the available literature with an emphasis that is primarily research-oriented is a valuable resource for anyone involved in addiction medicine. Though the book covers only the five classes of the most commonly abused substances, the authors do provide a detailed understanding of the addiction mechanisms laying a framework for any future work in the field.