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Medical News and Perspectives |

Addiction Poorly Understood by Clinicians

Brian Vastag
JAMA. 2003;290(10):1299-1303. doi:10.1001/jama.290.10.1299.
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Addiction experts say that the widely held view of drug addiction as a moral or behavioral problem rather than a medical disease undermines treatment efforts. (Photo credit: Corbis)

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Imaging studies reveal the biology of addiction. Although the cerebellum is not often thought of as a participant in drug craving and reward, recent functional MRI studies have revealed activation of the cerebellar vermis in cocaine addicts watching cocaine-related videos. The color scale bar indicates relative signal intensity changes (from 0% to 0.6%) occurring when subjects watched neutral segments of video versus segments associated with cocaine use. Gray in the false color map indicates decreased signal intensity. (Photo credit: C.M. Anderson, M.J. Kaufman, et al/Brain Imaging Center, McLean Hospital)

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