A major goal of alcohol research is to understand the neural underpinnings associated with the transition from alcohol use to alcohol dependence. Chronic exposure to alcohol induces changes in neural circuits that control motivational processes, including arousal, reward, and stress. These neuroadaptations produce changes in sensitivity to alcohol’s effects following repeated exposure (i.e., sensitization and tolerance) and a withdrawal state following discontinuation of alcohol use. Chronic alcohol exposure also results in persistent neural deficits, some of which may fully recover following extended periods of abstinence. However, the organism remains susceptible to relapse, even after long periods of abstinence. Recent research focusing on brain arousal, reward, and stress systems is accelerating our understanding of the components of alcohol dependence and contributing to the development of new treatment strategies.
This course is based on the reading-based online article, Neurobiology of Alcohol Dependence: Focus on Motivational Mechanisms created by Nicholas W. Gilpin, Ph.D., and George F. Koob, Ph.D. in 2008.
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
Alcohol Research and Health, Volume 21, Number 3, 2008
Course Material Author
Nicholas W. Gilpin, Ph.D., and George F. Koob, Ph.D.
Nicholas W. Gilpin, Ph.D., is a research associate, and George F. Koob, Ph.D., is a professor in the Committee on the Neurobiology of Addictive Disorders, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, California.
Nicholas W. Gilpin, Ph.D., and George F. Koob, Ph.D. authored the material only, and was not involved in creating this CE course. They are identified here for your own evaluation of the relevancy of the material this course is based on.
Dan Rebek, Ph.D.
This course is recommended for health care professionals, especially addiction counselors, psychologists, mental health counselors, social workers, and nurses who seek knowledge about the neurobiology of alcohol dependence. It is appropriate for all levels of participants' knowledge.
After taking this course, you should be able to:
Discuss reinforcement and how the concept relates to the transition from alcohol use to alcohol dependence.
Identify brain circuits which mediate alcohol reinforcement.
Describe the late stages of alcohol dependence, including neurodegeneration and relapse behavior.
Disclosure of Relevant Financial Relationships
Disclosure of Relevant Financial Relationships
CE Learning Systems, LLC is an independent provider of continuing medical education. CE Learning Systems, LLC has no proprietary or financial interest in medical or healthcare products over which the FDA (USA) or EMA (EU) has regulatory authority.
In accordance with our disclosure policies, CE Learning Systems, LLC is committed to ensuring balance, independence, objectivity, and scientific rigor for all accredited continuing education. These policies include assigning relevance to, and mitigating, all perceived or real conflicts of interest between any individual with control over the content and any ineligible company (commercial interest).
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any investigational, off-label, or non-FDA approved content or discussion
CE Learning Systems, LLC has reviewed these disclosures, assigned relevance based on the relationship and scope of content, and identified those with the potential to compromise the goals and educational integrity of the education. Relevant relationships, or lack thereof, are shared with the learner.
Education has been independently peer-reviewed to validate content, mitigate identified conflicts of interest, and ensure:
All recommendations involving clinical medicine is based on evidence that is accepted within the medical profession as adequate justification for their indications and contraindications in the care of patients.
All scientific research referred to, reported, or used in accredited continuing education in support or justification of a patient care recommendation conforms to the generally accepted standards of experimental design, data collection, and analysis.
Content is appropriate, fair and balanced, unbiased, referenced, and non-promotional.
The planners have reported the following: There are no relevant disclosures.
Course Material Author
The authors have disclosed any disclosures within the material.
Course Creator: Dan Rebek, Ph.D.
There are no relevant disclosures.
There is no commercial support for this distance-learning course.
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