Decreased dopamine D2 receptor availability is associated with reduced frontal metabolism in cocaine abusers

Nora D. Volkow, Joanna S. Fowler, Gene‐Jack ‐J Wang, Robert Hitzemann, Jean Logan, David J. Schlyer, Stephen L. Dewey, Alfred P. Wolf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

712 Scopus citations


Decreased dopaminergic function has been postulated to underlie cocaine addiction. To examine the possibility that dysfunction of brain regions subserved by the dopamine system could promote cocaine self‐administration, positron emission tomography and a dual‐tracer approach was used to examine dopamine D2 receptor availability and regional brain glucose metabolism in cocaine abusers. When compared to normal controls, cocaine abusers showed significant decreases in dopamine D2 receptor availability which persisted 3‐4 months after detoxification. Decreases in dopamine D2 receptor availability were associated with decreased metabolism in several regions of the frontal of these brain areas which are involved in the channeling of drive and affect could lead to loss of control resulting in compulsive drug‐taking behavior. © 1993 Wiley‐Liss, Inc.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)169-177
Number of pages9
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1993
Externally publishedYes


  • 2‐Deoxy‐2‐[F]fluoro‐D‐glucose
  • Brain glucose metabolism
  • Dopamine receptors
  • Drug dependence
  • [F]N‐methylspiroperidol

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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