Alcohol use disorders (AUD) are associated with increased rates of early morbidity and mortality. Unfortunately, for many patients and alcohol dependence may become increasingly refractory and effective treatments remains elusive. Thus, the goal of this R21 is to evaluate the effect of deep brain stimulation (DBS) in an animal model of alcohol dependence. Human imaging studies indicate that both the ventral striatum and anterior cingulate are affected in alcohol dependence, but these studies do not implicate one brain region over another. Thus, a barrier to implementing DBS clinically is the need to identify the brain region to be targeted. This study proposes to perform DBS in animals using the same methods used in humans - to determine which brain region is more effective in reducing alcohol consumption. Furthermore, the study in animals can be used to assess bilateral vs unilateral stimulation in these brain regions in addition to obtaining preliminary dat to determine the optimal stimulation parameters for DBS in humans. Deep-brain stimulation has the potential to be a viable treatment option for individuals with refractory alcohol dependence. Before this is attempted in humans, a better understanding of the parameters is warranted including the best neuroanatomical target, the effectiveness of unilateral versus bilateral stimulation, and what specific aspects of alcohol self-administration are altered by DBS.
Alcohol use disorders (AUD) result in 3-fold increased rates of early mortality and despite hundreds of clinical drug trials; pharmacotherapy is ineffective for many patients. Thus, procedures that target the brain regions, through direct modulation are being explored, and the goal of this study is to use an animal model of deep brain stimulation (DBS) to compare its effectiveness in the ventral striatum and anterior cingulate.