HYBRID EVENT: You can participate in person at Orlando, Florida, USA or Virtually from your home or work.

3rd Edition of Global Conference on

Addiction Medicine, Behavioral Health and Psychiatry

October 24-26, 2022 | Orlando, Florida, USA

GAB 2021

Neuroimaging markers of drug addiction From preclinical models to substance use disorder patients

Speaker at Addiction Medicine, Behavioral Health and Psychiatry 2021 - Yihong Yang
National Institute of Health, United States
Title : Neuroimaging markers of drug addiction From preclinical models to substance use disorder patients


ompulsive drug use is a cardinal feature of substance use disorder (SUD). Using a forward- and backward-translational strategy, we investigated cortical-striatal circuits underpinning compulsive drug use in human drug addicts and preclinical models. We started with a cross-sectional human study, comparing cocaine users and healthy controls, to identify cortical-striatal circuits altered in cocaine users. We then demonstrated that the impaired circuits were associated with compulsive drug taking behaviors characterized by symptoms of loss-of-control over drug use described in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual. For mechanistic understanding of the circuit alterations at various addiction phases, we “backwardtranslated” the findings from the human study to a compulsive drug taking model of rats. We found that cortical-striatal circuits in rats homologous to those of humans were disrupted and the severity of circuit disruption was associated with the level of compulsive drug taking in these animals. We further evaluate therapeutic potentials of these circuits in the rat model. We expect that findings from the preclinical model would then “forward-translate” to clinical studies for developing effective therapeutic treatments by restoring these altered brain circuits. In this presentation, identification of imaging biomarkers that underlie compulsive drug taking behaviors in humans and preclinical models will be presented. Potential treatment strategies based on neuromodulation, such as transcranial magnetic stimulation, will be discussed.


Yihong Yang is a Senior Investigator of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Chief of the Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Spectroscopy Section at the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). He has been developing neuroimaging and neuromodulation approaches and has been applying these techniques to drug addiction. He has published about 200 original research papers and book chapters and served on several research foundations. He was elected as a Fellow of the International Society for Magnetic Resonance Imaging in Medicine (ISMRM) in 2017 and Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) in 2018.