Pharmacopsychiatry 2003; 36 - 261
DOI: 10.1055/s-2003-825504

Alcohol-craving: Therapeutic effects using fMRI

F Schneider 1, W Burtscheidt 1, M Priebe 1, NJ Shah 1, W Gaebel 1, K Zilles 1
  • 1Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University of Düsseldorf; Institute of Medicine, Research Center Jülich

A preliminary study investigated the influence of behavior therapy on brain activity by inducing craving with olfactory stimulation. The present study investigates two stimulation paradigms of craving induction. A visual test was developed to accompany the olfactory paradigm. A catamnestic fMRI-measurement is being performed on all subjects to determine differential therapy effects and factors predicting illness course. Olfactory stimulation will be carried out as previously using alcohol and neutral room air. Brain activation in alcohol-dependent patients following detoxification and healthy controls during visual or olfactory craving induction is being measured. Initial findings show the effectiveness of both paradigms.

Schneider, F., Habel, U., Wagner, M., Franke, P., Toni, I., Salloum, J.B., Shah, N.J., Sulzbach, C., Hönig, K., Maier, W., Gaebel, W. & Zilles, K. Subcortical correlates of craving in early abstinent alcoholic patients. American Journal of Psychiatry, 2001, 158, 1075–1083.