Dopamine homeostasis: Brain functional connectivity in reward deficiency syndrome

Marcelo Febo, Kenneth Blum, Rajendra D. Badgaiyan, David Baron, Panayotis K. Thanos, Luis M. Colon-Perez, Zsolt Demotrovics, Mark S. Gold

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Reward deficiency syndrome (RDS) was first proposed by Kenneth Blum in 1995 to provide a clinically relevant and predictive term for conditions involving deficits in mesocorticolimbic dopamine function. Genetic, molecular, and neuronal alterations in key components of this circuitry contribute to a reward deficit state that can drive drug-seeking, consumption, and relapse. Among the dysfunctions observed in RDS are dysregulated resting state networks, which recently have been assessed in detail in chronic drug users by, positron emission tomography, functional magnetic resonance imaging, and functional connectivity analysis. A growing number of studies are helping to determine the putative roles of dopamine and glutamatergic neurotransmission in the regulation of activity in resting state networks, particularly in brain reward circuitry affected in drug use disorders. Indeed, we hypothesize in the present review that loss of homeostasis of these systems may lead to 'unbalanced' functional networks that might be both cause and outcome of disrupted synaptic communication between cortical and subcortical systems essential for controlling reward, emotional control, sensation seeking, and chronic drug use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)669-691
Number of pages23
JournalFrontiers in Bioscience - Landmark
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Addiction
  • DRD2 Gene
  • Dopamine
  • Functional magnetic resonance imaging
  • Genetics
  • Glutamate
  • RDS
  • Resting state functional connectivity
  • Reward deficiency syndrome
  • Stress
  • Taq1 A1 allele

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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