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Insula Spotlight: Stress Amplifies Alcohol Craving

A new study published in Biological Psychiatry explored the effects of stress on alcohol craving and identified the insula as a key region in this response. Conducted by the Central Institute of Mental Health in Mannheim, the study examined 98 individuals with alcohol problems using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). The results showed that psychosocial stress triggered increased activation of the left insula, particularly when viewing alcohol-related images. This activation correlated with heightened alcohol craving and increased alcohol consumption. The study suggests that the insula plays a crucial role in stress-induced drinking and could pave the way for a precision medicine approach to treating stress-induced alcohol consumption.








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