Frontal cortex dysfunction as a target for remediation in opiate use disorder: Role in cognitive dysfunction and disordered reward systems

Prog Brain Res. 2018:239:179-227. doi: 10.1016/bs.pbr.2018.07.001. Epub 2018 Aug 9.


In this chapter, we develop a model of μ- and δ-opioid receptor (OR) effects on cellular activity in the corticostriatal circuit after reviewing clinical data on cognitive and mood impairments in opioid substance use disorder (OUD), we use this model to derive information on the relevance of opioid actions in this circuit for cognition and reward. We find that the cognitive impairments and rewarding properties of acute μ-OR activation can reasonably explained by pharmacological actions in the corticostriatal circuit. However, long-term cognitive impairments and mood dysfunction observed in OUD are probably induced by opiate abuse-related degenerative mechanisms.

Keywords: Cognition; Frontal cortex; Mood; Nucleus accumbens; Opioid substance use disorder; δ-Opioid receptor; μ-Opioid receptor.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Analgesics, Opioid / pharmacology
  • Cognition / drug effects
  • Cognition / physiology*
  • Cognitive Dysfunction / physiopathology*
  • Cognitive Dysfunction / psychology
  • Frontal Lobe / drug effects
  • Frontal Lobe / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Opioid-Related Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Opioid-Related Disorders / psychology
  • Reward*


  • Analgesics, Opioid