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Medical News and Perspectives
March 3, 2004

Brain Sabotages Sobriety, Right on Cue

JAMA. 2004;291(9):1053-1055. doi:10.1001/jama.291.9.1053

New Haven, Conn—Ivan Petrovich Pavlov never had it so good. He may have won the 1904 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine—but only after collecting buckets of bodily fluids from his famously hungry dogs. A century later, his scientific progeny measure anticipation with brain scans, not drool pans.

The feisty physiologist would likely be pleased. Researchers peeking into the brain with sophisticated imaging are beginning to map the neurobiology of craving. While discovering why alcohol and other drug habits can be so hard to kick, they are also documenting the brain damage caused by alcoholism .

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