Troubled Past May Raise Risk for Drug Relapse

CHICAGO — A history of physical, emotional, or sexual abuse may have a direct effect on the brain that is linked to relapse, new research suggests. On neuroimaging, cocaine-dependent adults with a history of traumatic life experiences show increased nerve cell activity in response to drug-related visual cues in brain areas associated with addiction, which may raise their risk for relapse after treatment, the researchers found. The finding may also help explain why individuals with a history of abuse are two to three times more likely to develop a substance-abuse disorder than the general population, said lead author Paul Regier, PhD, from the Department of Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. “Yesterday matters,” Dr Reiger said during an October 19 press briefing at the Society for Neuroscience (SfN) 2015 Annual Meeting,…

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