Addictive disorders are highly prevalent psychiatric disorders and have a massive socio-economic impact. The Collaborative Antwerp Psychiatric Research Institute (CAPRI) has dedicated itself to perform research on addiction as well as to expand the knowledge regarding the pathogenesis and treatment for this patient group.
CAPRI-Addiction research focusses on several core domains relevant for addictive disorders:
Addictive processes haven been defined as dual process pathologies, i.e. including deficits in both hedonic and self-regulation brain circuitries.
CAPRI research focusses on exploring the role of impulse control mechanisms in the pathogenesis of alcohol dependence, poly-drug dependence and gambling disorders.
In addition the role of dopaminergic and cholinergic pathways in the brain reward centres are a new developing research line within CAPRI.
Treatment and treatment outcome
Prediction of treatment outcome and identifying patient characteristics that enable identification of patient groups with a high risk on relapse remain are of major importance. Within CAPRI-research neurocognitive characteristics of patients are being studied as potential powerful predictors of treatment outcome.
Pharmacological treatment: Current pharmacological treatments for addiction remain limited both as to their specificity and their effectiveness. CAPRI- research explores the possibilities of new pharmacological treatments with a focus on a consistent link with the underlying neurobiological processes of the disorders and developing a more personalized approach in pharmacotherapy.
Co-morbidity is highly frequent in patients both within the addiction care as within psychiatric care. Within CAPRI a special interest in different types of co-morbidity has been developed.