Issues in Interdisciplinarity 2019-20/Evidence in Addiction

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Introduction[edit]

Evidence in Neuroscience[edit]

Brain imaging technologies provide most of the evidence used in neuroscience to study addiction. Imaging shows neurochemical and functional changes in the brains of addicts. It can show which parts of the brain are activated during craving, drug intake, or satisfaction of another desire, and withdrawal. Brain imagining studies reveal that during drug intake or craving, the prefrontal regions of the brain are activated in a complex pattern. This pattern includes brain circuits involving regions of the brain associated with reward (nucleus accumbens), motivation (orbitofrontal cortex), memory (amygdala and hippocampus), and cognitive control (prefrontal cortex and cingulate gyrus). [1]

The two main imaging technologies are positron emission tomography (PET) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Both offer quantitative data and analysis. PET measures brain activity by detecting the radioactivity emitted by positron-emitting isotopes injected into a peripheral vein- regions with high radioactive activity are associated with brain activity. fMRI measures the brain activity by detecting the changes in blood oxidation-when a region of the brain is more active, it consumes more oxygen. Other imaging technics include Computed tomography (CT), Electroencephalography (EEG), Magnetoencephalography (MEG) and Near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS). [2]

Another source of evidence for the study addiction in neuroscience are animal models of substance use disorder. A recent study in nonhuman primates showed how environmental factors can affect neuronal circuits, which in turn influence behavior related to drug addiction. The study that social status (dominant or subordinate) affects DA D2 receptor expression in the brain, which then influences the individuals’ drug intake.[3]

Evidence in Economics[edit]

Evidence in Psychology[edit]

Combining Evidence in Government Intervention[edit]

It seems essential to combine evidence from psychology, neuroscience and economics to effectively reduce addition. In order to have an effective government intervention, governments should have access to different types of evidence. Government intervention can include tax increase for addictive substances, marketing bans, education awareness, and legislation such as imposing a minimum age to consume and buy a substance.

Interdisciplinary evidence important for budgeting decision making. For example should more money be given for the treatment of addiction or its prevention (NHS).

References[edit]

Devlin H. What is Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI)? [Internet]. Psych Central. 2018 [cited 3 December 2019]. Available from: https://psychcentral.com/lib/what-is-functional-magnetic-resonance-imaging-fmri/

Demitri, M. M.D. Types of Brain Imaging Techniques [Internet]. Psych Central. 2019 [cited 3 December 2019]. Available from: https://psychcentral.com/lib/types-of-brain-imaging-techniques/

Volkow N, Fowler J, Wang G. The addicted human brain: insights from imaging studies. Journal of Clinical Investigation [Internet]. 2003;111(10):1444-1451. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC155054/#__ffn_sectitle


  1. Volkow N, Fowler J, Wang G. The addicted human brain: insights from imaging studies. Journal of Clinical Investigation [Internet]. 2003;111(10):1444-1451. Available from:https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC155054/#__ffn_sectitle
  2. Demitri, M. M.D. Types of Brain Imaging Techniques [Internet]. Psych Central. 2019 [cited 3 December 2019]. Available from: https://psychcentral.com/lib/types-of-brain-imaging-techniques/
  3. Volkow N, Fowler J, Wang G. The addicted human brain: insights from imaging studies. Journal of Clinical Investigation [Internet]. 2003;111(10):1444-1451. Available from:https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC155054/#__ffn_sectitle