New England Journal of Medicine Jan 28, 2016: Neurobiological Advances from the Brain Disease Model of Addiction

February 18th, 2016

nejm-sealThis article, co-authored by Drs. Nora Volkow, George Koob, and A. Thomas McLellan, reviews recent advances in clarifying the link between addiction and brain function. The article discusses findings on the desensitization of reward circuits, the increasing strength of conditioned responses and stress reactivity; and the weakening of the brain regions involved in executive functions such as decision making, inhibitory control, and self-regulation. The authors also review the ways in which social environments, developmental stages, and genetics are intimately linked to and influence vulnerability and recovery. The article concludes that neuroscience continues to support the brain disease model of addiction.

View the Report

Posted in Content


A Project of the Governor's Institute on Alcohol & Substance Abuse and the North Carolina Society of Addiction Medicine.
Funded wholly or in part by the federal Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant Fund (CFDA #93.959) as a project of the NC Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities & Substance Abuse Services.