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Fonville L, Paterson L, Herlinger K, et al., 2021, Functional evaluation of NK1 antagonism on cue reactivity in opiate dependence; an fMRI study, Drug and Alcohol Dependence, Vol: 221, Pages: 1-7, ISSN: 0376-8716
BackgroundOpiate addiction is a major health challenge with substantial societal cost. Though harm minimisation strategies have been effective, there is a growing need for new treatments for detoxification and relapse prevention. Preclinical research has found neurokinin 1 (NK1) receptors have prominent effects on opiate reward and reinforcement, and human studies have found NK1 antagonism led to reductions in craving and withdrawal. However, its effect on brain mechanisms in opiate addiction has not yet been examined.MethodsThis study aims to assess the impact of NK1 antagonist aprepitant on heroin cue-elicited changes in blood-oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) signal in opiate dependent individuals undergoing detoxification. Participants will attend two scanning sessions and receive a single dose of aprepitant (320 mg) and a placebo in a randomised, cross-over design. During functional magnetic resonance imaging participants will undergo two runs of a cue reactivity task, which consists of passive viewing of drug cues or neutral cues in a block design fashion. We hypothesise that NK1 antagonism will attenuate the BOLD response to drug cues in the caudate nucleus and amygdala. Regions of interest were selected based on NK1 receptor density and their role in cue reactivity and craving.
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