Journal article

Novel approaches to alcohol rehabilitation: Modification of stress-responsive brain regions through environmental enrichment

Terence Y Pang, Anthony J Hannan, Andrew J Lawrence



Relapse remains the most prominent hurdle to successful rehabilitation from alcoholism. The neural mechanisms underlying relapse are complex, but our understanding of the brain regions involved, the anatomical circuitry and the modulation of specific nuclei in the context of stress and cue-induced relapse have improved significantly in recent years. In particular, stress is now recognised as a significant trigger for relapse, adding to the well-established impact of chronic stress to escalate alcohol consumption. It is therefore unsurprising that the stress-responsive regions of the brain have also been implicated in alcohol relapse, such as the nucleus accumbens, amygdala and the hypothalam..

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Awarded by NHMRC

Funding Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank Gina Cocos for conducting the initial literature search. The authors declare no conflicts of interest in the preparation of this work. AJH (1117148) and AJL (1116930) are NHMRC Principal Research Fellows. TYP, AJH and AJL are also supported by NHMRC Project Grants (TYP & AJH: 1083468, 1138321; AJL: (1079893, 1105741, 1120576). We also acknowledge the Victorian State Government's Operational Infrastructure Program.