Topiramate is one of the currently most promising compounds in the field of addiction medicine. This paper discusses its potential utility related to a phase model of addiction development, focusing on the assumption that addiction is a continuous process involving different neurobiological pathways, depending on the stage of addiction. A specific emphasis will be made on the development of dysfunctional automatic behaviors in the late stage of addiction and the central role of glutamate and AMPA receptors. The aim is to propose that if too broad an effect of anti-addiction medication is expected (such as anti-craving, anti-relapse and preventive effects), the results might be disappointing. The speculative specific efficacy of topiramate in addiction is described.
Keywords: Topiramate, addictions, treatment, drug abuse, dysfunctional, hedonic, ritualized, amphetamines, morphine, naltrexone, mesolimbic, synaptic, neuroanatomical, vaccines, ethanol, sensitization, kainate
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