While addiction is one of the most studied topics in neurobiology, I don't see very much info on recovery.

The information I have found is confusing.

  • This one says striatal DAT bindings return to normal within 4-weeks of alcohol abstinence.
  • This one says DAT density is around 20% lower in meth abstainers than the control.
  • This one suggests that for meth users, the DA changes are permanent and recovered performance is a result of a compensating thalamus.
  • This one says prolonged abstinence from meth users leads to an increase of 16% and 19%
  • This one is the only report I could find on straital changes from overeating. But nothing on recovery. Just an interesting note that A1 Allele carriers have 30-40% lower DAT density (which sounds hugely unfair).

Is anyone familiar with this topic? Why are the effects of ethanol so easily reversed (apparently) but not meth, if they both have an effect on DAT/R?

Where are all the other studies, especially for eating, or the internet? Is their neurological evidence that a glutton can enjoy plain foods, that someone can lose their "sweet tooth," that the D2 receptors come back after prolonged internet use (or that they're reduced at all)?

Seems like a big topic with so little information. Perhaps I'm not looking correctly.

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    $\begingroup$ Have you looked at the various populations used? For example, the first two references use populations with different durations of abstinence. I vote to close this question because it is too broad. Very interesting, but you can't expect folks to do an intensive comparative literature search for you, taking into account all the variables (duration of abstinence, type of drug, number of relapses, age, IQ/education, duration of abuse ...). I would try to find reviews on this, and if they are not around, write one yourself :) Good luck! $\endgroup$
    – AliceD
    Aug 12 '15 at 12:15
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    $\begingroup$ What is DA and DAT? $\endgroup$
    – Seanny123
    Aug 12 '15 at 17:12
  • $\begingroup$ @Seanny123 - DA=dopamine, DAT=dopamine transporter. They are quite regularly used abbreviations in neuroscience. $\endgroup$
    – AliceD
    Aug 13 '15 at 14:28