PSYA4- Biological influences

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  • Biological influences on addictive beheviour
    • Biological models
      • these state that addictions are: specific/ within the individual/ irreversible/ an illness/ and emphasis is placed on treatment
      • genetics
        • Lerman et al- found a link between tobacco smoking and the gene found in dopamine regulation
        • Comings et al - found a link between cocaine, heroin, and cannabis to genes in a different brain system
          • Lerman et al- found a link between tobacco smoking and the gene found in dopamine regulation
      • family studies
        • Merikangas- 36% of  relatives of individuals with a alcohol use disorder also developed a disorder
          • although there are several supporting studies it is impossible to separate environmental factors from biological
        • twin studies have found evidence of a genetic component
          • Kendler et al- heritability of nicotine dependence 60-70%
          • Heath and Martin- heritability of alcohol dependence 39-60%
            • Kendler et al- heritability of nicotine dependence 60-70%
    • Biochemical factors
      • the dopamine reward system
        • in the mesolimbic dopamine pathway cells release spontaneous bursts of dopamine to maintain stable mood
          • Altman- alcohol and nicotine have been proven to affect the nervous system by increasing dopamine levels and improving mood
            • Liebman and Cooper- suggested that those who are more susceptible to addictions might have inherited a more sensitive mesolimbic dopamine pathway
      • the endogenous opioid system
        • opioid neurotransmitters include encephalin and endorphins.
          • the opioid systems are activated in states of pleasure and can be directly stimulated by addictive drugs such as nicotine, alcohol and heroin.
            • the drug naltrexone has been proven to prevent the rewarding effect of alcohol by blocking opioid receptors and thus treating addiction and proving a biological influence
            • O'Malley et al- long-term tobacco smoking has been shown to distrupt the the opioid system
    • neuroadaptation
      • Koob and Le Moal
        • changes occur in the brain system as a result of taking psychoactive drugs
          • if drug taking stops these adaptations are no longer needed so they disrupt the brains homeostasis
            • this explains why people develop a tolerance to drugs and need to increase dosage to gain the same effects and why they develop withdrawal symptoms if they stop
              • the withdrawal symptoms make people want to take the substance again and the addiction is maintained
  • AA- addiction is an allergic response
    • Biological models
      • these state that addictions are: specific/ within the individual/ irreversible/ an illness/ and emphasis is placed on treatment
      • genetics
        • Comings et al - found a link between cocaine, heroin, and cannabis to genes in a different brain system
        • family studies
          • Merikangas- 36% of  relatives of individuals with a alcohol use disorder also developed a disorder
            • although there are several supporting studies it is impossible to separate environmental factors from biological
          • twin studies have found evidence of a genetic component
            • Heath and Martin- heritability of alcohol dependence 39-60%
      • changes occur in the brain system as a result of taking psychoactive drugs
        • if drug taking stops these adaptations are no longer needed so they disrupt the brains homeostasis
          • this explains why people develop a tolerance to drugs and need to increase dosage to gain the same effects and why they develop withdrawal symptoms if they stop
            • the withdrawal symptoms make people want to take the substance again and the addiction is maintained

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