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MRI – Based Approaches

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

MRI is a noninvasive imaging technique that uses magnetic fields to visualize structures within the body. In combination with other visualization techniques it can be used to locate abnormal structures in the brain that are associated with addiction and addiction processes.

Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI)

DTI, also known as diffusion MRI, measures the movement of molecules, mainly water, throughout the body. In the brain, water movement can serve as an indirect measure of tissue integrity.

Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI)

fMRI measures changes in the properties of blood throughout the brain. In general, the more a brain area is being used, the more oxygen it needs for energy. As hemoglobin in the blood releases oxygen for energy, an indirect measure of brain activity is obtained. Measuring these functional changes during various types of tasks, together with structural MRI data, can reveal compromised brain function in important brain areas related to addiction.

Brain Stimulation Approaches

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)

TMS uses electromagnetic induction to increase or decrease brain activity in specific cortical areas. Understanding natural functional processes can help guide TMS stimulation parameters in effort to establish or reestablish healthy brain function in individuals suffering from addiction.

Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS)

tDCS works by sending constant, low direct current through the electrodes positioned on the surface of the head. This current flow can either increase or decrease neuronal excitability and alter brain activity.

Transcranial Alternating Current Stimulation (tACS)

Similar to tDCS, tACS passes current between electrodes positioned outside the head. In this case, however, the alternating current applied is sinusoidal.

Internet – Based Approaches

International Quit & Recovery Registry (IQRR)

To study recovery well requires that a large number of individuals in recovery provide information about their recovery and participate in ongoing research. The IQRR uses the Internet to recruit, maintain, and expand a large, diverse community of research participants who are in recovery and who are willing to participant in ongoing research.