Aspectos neuropsicológicos del craving por la nicotina

Miguel Ángel Muñoz, Rocío Sanjuan, Mª Carmen Fernández-Santaella, Jaime Vila, Pedro Montoya


El craving se ha definido como la motivación de autoadministrarse una sustancia que previamente ha sido consumida. Se considera que el craving es responsable del consumo compulsivo de una sustancia, así como del alto nivel de recaídas después de periodos de abstinencia. Los estudios neuropsicológicos y de imagen cerebral han identificado numerosas regiones cerebrales implicadas en el craving. En este artículo se revisan los mecanismos neuropsicológicos implicados en el craving por la nicotina, centrándose en los tres sistemas involucrados en el craving. Primero, el sistema de recompensa, responsable del desarrollo de la dependencia y del craving. Segundo, el sistema emocional y asociativo que se relaciona con el craving condicionado. Tercero, el sistema implicado en la toma de decisiones y procesos cognitivos. Además, se revisa los modelos teóricos más influyentes, como los Modelos basados en el Condicionamiento, Modelos Cognitivo-Conductuales, Modelos Cognitivos y Modelo Neurobiológico. También se discuten otros aspectos relacionados con la evaluación y tratamiento del craving, haciendo énfasis en los aspectos clínicos. Como conclusión, se acentúa la importancia de un enfoque multidisciplinar para lograr un modelo común del craving, así como para mejorar las herramientas diagnósticas y las estrategias de tratamiento.

Palabras clave

craving; tabaquismo; mecanismos neuropsicológicos; dependencia a la nicotina; modelos teóricos

Texto completo:



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