Neurobiology of Addiction | George Koob, PhD

This lecture reviews the neurobiology of addiction including

  1. Conceptual Framework for Addiction: Animal Models, Impulsivity, Compulsivity
  2. Binge/Intoxication Stage: Brain Reward Circuits, Neurotransmitters, Incentive Salience. Early neuroadaptations in nucleus accumbens and basal ganglia involve activation of incentive salience and habit circuitry
  3. Withdrawal/Negative Affect stage: Within-system deficits in reward function. Between-system recruitment in brain stress systems.
  4. Preoccupation/Anticipation Stage: Executive function deficits. Neuroadapations in brain stress neurotransmitters may contribute to impulsivity and compulsivity.
  5. Allostatic view of addiction: Implications for etiology, treatment, and prevention

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PHYSICIANS: The California Society of Addiction Medicine (CSAM) is accredited by the Institute for Medical Quality/California Medical Association to provide continuing medical education for physicians.  CSAM takes responsibility for the content, quality and scientific integrity of this CME activity.

CSAM designates this live educational activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. This credit may also be applied to the CMA Certification in Continuing Medical Education.

This course has been approved by the American Board of Addiction Medicine (ABAM). Physicians enrolled in the ABAM Maintenance of Certification (MOC) Program can apply a maximum of 1 AMA/PRA Category 1 Credits™ for completing the Review Course.

Continuing education credit is also available for nurses, psychologists, pharmacists, physician assistants, therapists, and drug abuse counselors. 

Target Audience

  • Addiction medicine specialists who want an overview of the latest developments in the field and their relevance to clinical practice
  • Primary care clinicians who want to get a better understanding of addiction and manage patients with addictions in their practice
  • Public health officials who want an understanding of the current state of addiction treatment
  • Non-physicians who are involved in the treatment of addiction

Learning Objectives

After viewing this lecture participants should be able to apply the following topics in the treatment of patients with substance use disorders:

  1. Animal models of addiction
  2. Brain Reward Circuits
  3. Neurotransmitters: Where and what type are relevant in addictive disorders?
  4. Action of psychoactive substances on brain circuits and neurotransmitters
  5. Neuroimaging of addiction and related phenomena, i.e. craving, relapse and recovery
  6. Implication of neurobiological principles on treatment and recovery
  7. Cellular and molecular mechanisms in addiction, including neuroadaptation, epigenetic phenomena, etc.
  8. Genetic basis for neurobiological addictive disease vulnerability and treatment response
Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 1.00 AMA Category 1
  • 1.00 Attendance
Course opens: 
Course expires: 

George Koob, PhD

George F. Koob, is Director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) as of January 27, 2014. As NIAAA Director, Dr. Koob oversees a wide range of alcohol-related research, including genetics, neuroscience, epidemiology, prevention, and treatment. As an authority on alcoholism, drug addiction and stress, he has contributed to our understanding of the neurocircuitry associated with the acute reinforcing effects of alcohol and drugs of abuse and the neuroadaptations of the reward and stress circuits associated with the transition to dependence. Dr. Koob has published over 650 peer reviewed papers and several books including the “Neurobiology of Addiction,” a comprehensive treatise on emerging research in the field, and a textbook for upper division undergraduates and graduate students called “Drugs, Addiction and the Brain.” He has mentored 11 Ph. D students and over 80 post-doctoral fellows. He received his Ph.D. in Behavioral Physiology from Johns Hopkins University in 1972. He spent much of his early career at the Scripps Research Institute as the Director of the Alcohol Research Center, and as Professor and Chair of the Scripps’ Committee on the Neurobiology of Addictive Disorders. He has also served as a researcher in the Department of Neurophysiology at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research and the Arthur Vining Davis Center for Behavioral Neurobiology at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies.

Dr. Koob has no relevant financial relationships to disclose.

Available Credit

  • 1.00 AMA Category 1
  • 1.00 Attendance


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