Thursday, June 24, 2004

Opioids, Attachment, and Compulsion:
The Compulsion to Repeat the Trauma

From Netscape News, echoing a report in the journal, Science,  comes this report about the neurobiology of attachment.  To place this in context, it is important to be aware of the fact  that there is a long history of research into the role that the internal opioid system plays in social attachment.  In fact, this recent article is only a small contribution.  It is not clear why it was picked up by the Associated Press.  The opioid system in the brain has been suggested to play a role in addiction, eating disorders, and compulsive repetition of trauma.

In this post, I review the recent news article, then discuss the broader scientific context to show why it is important.  I then review some of the clinical applications of the basic science, including the role that the endogenous opiate system (and some other systems) may play is such conditions as addiction, eating disorders, and compulsive repetition of trauma.  Read the rest at The Rest of the Story