Cravings are created by cognitive, emotional, and behavioral elements concerning a wish to drink alcohol, and may also be affected by the duration of intoxication, withdrawal, or prior relapse. Unique forms of craving are hypothesized to be associated with various neurotransmitter systems. For instance, reward craving may be mediated by using dopamine and opioids, obsessive craving by serotonin, and relief craving by glutamate. A new study used magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H-MRS) to examine the correlation between craving and glutamate levels within the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (LDLPFC) of sufferers with alcohol use disorders (AUDs).
Alcohol and Glutamate Levels
Around fourteen individuals (8 women, 6 men) underwent 1H-MRS to measure glutamate levels within the LDLPFC. Researchers additionally used the Pennsylvania Alcohol Craving Scale (PACS) and a study-validated interview process to quantify yearning for alcohol and drinking patterns, respectively.
Although the research sample size is small, these data advise that glutamate levels in the LDLPFC are associated with alcohol-craving intensity in patients with AUDs. Glutamate spectroscopy is also able to support the identification of biological measures of alcohol-craving intensity and aid with medication interventions.
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Reference: Science Daily
Written By: Dr. Marie Gabrielle Laguna Bedia