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Addiction Possibly Linked To The Amygdala

Dec 16, 2014

Activating the circuitry of the Amygdala may be the key to help battle addictions.

While many people can enjoy alcohol, nicotine, and other substances in moderation, for a section of the world's population it becomes a need greater than any other. A University of Michigan study could lead to helpful breakthroughs in the treatment of addictions.

A team of researchers from U of M have shown that activating the amygdala in rats triggers this type of addictive behavior. Psychology and Neuroscience Professor, Kent Berridge, doesn't think severe addictions can be solved by merely operating on this part of the brain. However, he is hopeful that the study could lead to the development of non-surgical techniques that would "less-invasively tinker, and undo some of the changes that make particular individuals especially addicted, by recruiting this kind of brain circuitry."

Berridge confirms that the study shows they can activate the amygdala, but more research is needed to understand the process, in order to devise new tools to fight addiction.