Neurobiochemical and clinical aspects of craving in alcohol addiction: A review

Giovanni Addolorato, Lorenzo Leggio, Ludovico Abenavoli, Giovanni Gasbarrini, G. De Lorenzi, A. Ferrulli, C. Ancona, C. D'Angelo, L. Vonghia, L. Ghaeni, E. Capristo, S. Farnetti, N. Malandrino, L. Janiri, G. Pozzi, M. Di Giannantonio, F. Caputo, F. Lorenzini, A. Del Re, T. VignoliM. Bernardi, G. F. Stefanini, V. Isoppo, R. V. Ricci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Craving plays an important role in the pathogenesis of alcohol dependence and relapse. In this review we have tried to analyse how many contrasting theories have been formulated in order to clarify the concept of craving. Many complex neurobiochemical mechanisms are implicated in the etiology of craving; these mechanisms involve several neurotransmitters, such us dopamine, opioids, glutamate, and serotonin. On the other hand comportamental and/or cognitive aspects could also play a role in the etiology of craving. The coexistence of many and often contrasting theories can indicate that different subtypes of patients could have different mechanisms at the basis of alcohol craving, suggesting that it could be advisable to personalize the anti-craving therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1209-1224
Number of pages16
JournalAddictive Behaviors
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • Alcohol addiction
  • Craving
  • Neurotransmitters
  • Relapse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Clinical Psychology


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