The use of neuromodulation in the treatment of cocaine dependence

Lucia M. Alba-Ferrara, Francisco Fernandez, Gabriel A. De Erausquin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Cocaine-related disorders are currently among the most devastating mental diseases, as they impoverish all spheres of life resulting in tremendous economic, social, and moral costs. Despite multiple efforts to tackle cocaine dependence, pharmacological as well as cognitive therapies have had limited success. In this review, we discuss the use of recent neuromodulation techniques, such as conventional repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS), deep brain stimulation, and the use of H coils for deep rTMS for the treatment of cocaine dependence. Moreover, we discuss attempts to identify optimal brain targets underpinning cocaine craving and withdrawal for neurodisruption treatment, as well as some weaknesses in the literature, such as the absence of biomarkers for individual risk classification and the inadequacy of treatment outcome measures, which may delay progress in the field. Finally, we present some genetic markers candidates and objective outcome measures, which could be applied in combination with transcranial magnetic stimulation treatment of cocaine dependence. We anticipate future research in this area combining genetic and physiological markers, neurodisruption, and clinical behavioral measures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalAddictive Disorders and their Treatment
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • DBS
  • addiction
  • deep rTMS
  • habenula
  • medial forebrain bundle
  • transcranial magnetic stimulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


Dive into the research topics of 'The use of neuromodulation in the treatment of cocaine dependence'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this