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Title: An examination of the neuropharmacology of dependence
Author: Daglish, Mark Robert Crawford
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2009
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Drugs of abuse alter the neurochemistry of the human brain. This is axiomatic, for if they did not, they would be inactive and hence not abused. My interest in the study of the neurobiology of dependence has centred on the use of the techniques of functional neuroimaging to examine the responses and changes of the living human brain to the processes of substance misuse. As one would expect, this thesis therefore follows that path. After a brief description of the social history of substance misuse, it is intended to begin with an explanation of the variety of techniques available today. This will not be an exhaustive, nor complete, list but will restrict itself to those techniques that feature in the rest of the thesis. A complete list and descriptions of the relative merits of them all would be sufficient to fill an entire thesis alone. Following on from the description of neuroimaging techniques, this thesis will discuss the previous use of these to the field of opioid addiction and dependence. As the final chapter will be largely discussing the common findings and changes in neurobiology found across the spectrum of drugs of abuse, this review will not be confined solely to the study of opioid dependence; however, all the research work carried out for this thesis focused entirely on this disorder. The middle section of this thesis will focus on the empirical research carried out using Positron Emission Tomography (PET) techniques to examine the neurobiology of opioid dependence. There are two separate studies contained within this section; each beginning with a detailed discussion of the scanning and analysis techniques developed and used, and each using a different sub-type of PET imaging to examine different components of the disorder. The final chapter will attempt to draw together the results from the review of the published literature with the experimental results. The aim is to show the increasing parallels being found from different methodologies examining different drugs of abuse and hence provide evidence for core underlying neurobiological changes that are implicated in the central concept of addiction.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (M.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available