A Roadmap for Integrating Neuroscience into Addiction Treatment: A Consensus of the Neuroscience Interest Group of the International Society of Addiction Medicine

Antonio Verdejo-Garcia (Lead / Corresponding author), Valentina Lorenzetti, Victoria Manning, Hugh Piercy, Raimondo Bruno, Rob Hester, David Pennington, Serenella Tolomeo, Shalini Arunogiri, Marsha E. Bates, Henrietta Bowden-Jones, Salvatore Campanella, Stacey Daughters, Christos Kouimtsidis, Dan I. Lubman, Dieter J. Meyerhoff, Annaketurah Ralph, Tara Rezapour, Hosna Tavakoli, Mehran Zare-BidokyAnna Zilverstand, Douglas Steele, Scott J. Moeller, Martin P. Paulus, Alex Baldacchino, Hamed Ekhtiari

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Although there is general consensus that altered brain structure and function underpins addictive disorders, clinicians working in addiction treatment rarely incorporate neuroscience-informed approaches into their practice. We recently launched the Neuroscience Interest Group within the International Society of Addiction Medicine (ISAMNIG) to promote initiatives to bridge this gap. This article summarises the ISAM-NIG key priorities and strategies to achieve implementation of addiction neuroscience knowledge and tools forthe assessment and treatment of substance use disorders. We cover two assessment areas: cognitive assessment and neuroimaging, and two interventional areas: cognitive training/remediation and neuromodulation, where we identify key challenges and proposed solutions. We reason that incorporating cognitive assessment into clinical settings requires the identification of constructs that predict meaningful clinical outcomes. Other requirements are the development of measures that are easily-administered, reliable and ecologically-valid. Translation of neuroimaging techniques requires the development of diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers and testing the cost-effectiveness of these biomarkers in individualised prediction algorithms for relapse prevention and treatment selection. Integration of cognitive assessments with neuroimaging can provide multilevel targets including neural, cognitive, and behavioural outcomes for neuroscience-informed interventions. Application of neuroscience-informed interventions including cognitive training/remediation and neuromodulation requires clear pathways to design interventions based on multilevel targets, additional evidence from randomised trials and subsequent clinical implementation, including evaluation of cost-effectiveness. We propose to address these challenges by promoting international collaboration between researchers and clinicians, developing harmonised protocols and data management systems, and prioritising multi-site research that focuses on improving clinical outcomes.
Original languageEnglish
Article number877
Pages (from-to)1-23
Number of pages23
JournalFrontiers in Psychiatry
Publication statusPublished - 23 Dec 2019


  • Neuroscience
  • Addiction Medicine
  • Treatment
  • Substance Use Disorder
  • fMRI
  • Neuromodulation
  • Cognition
  • Neuropsychological Assessment
  • Cognitive Remediation
  • Cognitive Training


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