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Philip NS, Sorensen DO, McCalley DM, Hanlon CA

Abstract: Alcohol use disorders remain one of the leading causes of mortality and morbidity across the world, yet despite this impact, there are few treatment options for patients suffering from these disorders. To this end, non-invasive brain stimulation, most commonly utilizing technologies including transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), has recently emerged as promising potential treatments for alcohol use disorders. Enthusiasm for these interventions is fueled by their non-invasive nature, generally favorable safety profile, and ability to target and modulate brain regions implicated in substance use disorders. In this paper, we describe the underlying principles behind these commonly used stimulation technologies, summarize existing experiments and randomized controlled trials, and provide an integrative summary with suggestions for future areas of research. Currently available data generally supports the use of non-invasive brain stimulation as a near-term treatment for alcohol use disorder, with important caveats regarding the use of stimulation in this patient population.

Transcranial electrical and magnetic stimulation (tES and TMS) for addiction medicine: A consensus paper on the present state of the science and the road ahead.

Hanlon CA et al.

Abstract: There is growing interest in non-invasive brain stimulation (NIBS) as a novel treatment option for substance-use disorders (SUDs). Recent momentum stems from a foundation of preclinical neuroscience demonstrating links between neural circuits and drug consuming behavior, as well as recent FDA-approval of NIBS treatments for mental health disorders that share overlapping pathology with SUDs. As with any emerging field, enthusiasm must be tempered by reason; lessons learned from the past should be prudently applied to future therapies. Here, an international ensemble of experts provides an overview of the state of transcranial-electrical (tES) and transcranial-magnetic (TMS) stimulation applied in SUDs. This consensus paper provides a systematic literature review on published data - emphasizing the heterogeneity of methods and outcome measures while suggesting strategies to help bridge knowledge gaps. The goal of this effort is to provide the community with guidelines for best practices in tES/TMS SUD research. We hope this will accelerate the speed at which the community translates basic neuroscience into advanced neuromodulation tools for clinical practice in addiction medicine.

State-Dependent Effects of Ventromedial Prefrontal Cortex Continuous Thetaburst Stimulation on Cocaine Cue Reactivity in Chronic Cocaine Users.

Kearney-Ramos TE, Dowdle LT, Mithoefer OJ, Devries W, George MS, Hanlon CA

Abstract: Cue-induced craving is a significant barrier to obtaining abstinence from cocaine. Neuroimaging research has shown that cocaine cue exposure evokes elevated activity in a network of frontal-striatal brain regions involved in drug craving and drug seeking. Prior research from our laboratory has demonstrated that when targeted at the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), continuous theta burst stimulation (cTBS), an inhibitory form of non-invasive brain stimulation, can decrease drug cue-related activity in the striatum in cocaine users and alcohol users. However, it is known that there are individual differences in response to repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS), with some individuals being responders and others non-responders. There is some evidence that state-dependent effects influence response to rTMS, with baseline neural state predicting rTMS treatment outcomes. In this single-blind, active sham-controlled crossover study, we assess the striatum as a biomarker of treatment response by determining if baseline drug cue reactivity in the striatum influences striatal response to mPFC cTBS.