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Nitrous oxide may interfere with the reconsolidation of drinking memories in hazardous drinkers in a prediction-error-dependent manner

Das, RK; Walsh, K; Hannaford, J; Lazzarino, AI; Kamboj, SK; (2018) Nitrous oxide may interfere with the reconsolidation of drinking memories in hazardous drinkers in a prediction-error-dependent manner. European Neuropsychopharmacology , 28 (7) pp. 828-840. 10.1016/j.euroneuro.2018.05.001. Green open access

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Abstract

Weakening drinking-related reward memories by blocking their reconsolidation is a potential novel strategy for treating alcohol use disorders. However, few viable pharmacological options exist for reconsolidation interference in humans. We therefore examined whether the NMDA receptor antagonising gas, Nitrous Oxide (N2O) could reduce drinking by preventing the post-retrieval restabilisation of alcohol memories in a group of hazardous drinkers. Critically, we focussed on whether prediction error (PE; a key determinant of reconsolidation) was experienced at retrieval. Sixty hazardous drinkers were randomised to one of three groups that retrieved alcohol memories either with negative PE (Retrieval + PE), no PE (Retrieval no PE) or non-alcohol memory retrieval with PE (No-retrieval +PE). All participants then inhaled 50% N_{2}O for 30 min. The primary outcome was change in beer consumption and alcohol cue-driven urge to drink from the week preceding manipulation (baseline) to the week following manipulation (test). The manipulation did not affect drinking following the intended retrieval+/- PE conditions However, a manipulation check, using a measure of subjective surprise, revealed that the group-level manipulation did not achieve the intended differences in PE at retrieval. Assessment of outcomes according to whether alcohol-relevant PE was actually experienced at retrieval, showed N_{2}O produced reductions in drinking in a retrieval and PE-dependent fashion. These preliminary findings highlight the importance of directly testing assumptions about memory reactivation procedures in reconsolidation research and suggest that N_{2}O should be further investigated as a potential reconsolidation-blocking agent.

Type: Article
Title: Nitrous oxide may interfere with the reconsolidation of drinking memories in hazardous drinkers in a prediction-error-dependent manner
Location: Netherlands
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.euroneuro.2018.05.001
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.euroneuro.2018.05.001
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Clinical, Edu and Hlth Psychology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10051598
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