Psychobiology and Neurobiology of Addiction
Our main focus is on the psychological and neurobiological mechanisms that underlie addiction, with specific emphasis on alcoholism.
Addiction, including alcohol abuse disorders, are the second most detrimental neuropsychiatric disorders. Four percent of world-wide death is associated with alcohol abuse, and chronic harmful alcohol use is one of four most common risk factors for multiple diseases.
Addiction is thought to be a pathological usurpation of the mechanisms underlying learning and memory. Therefore, we study the learning and memory processes that participate in the development of addiction. We also look for neuroadaptations in the brain that occur in addiction, such as changes in gene expression, in proteins and in signaling pathways, and in neurotransmission.
Projects in the lab include:
- Erasure of drug-related memories to prevent relapse to drug seeking and consumption
- Role of epigenetic processes in the development of psychiatric disorders
- Role of growth factors in learning and memory processes in addiction
- Molecular mechanisms in memory consolidation and reconsolidation