Neuropeptide modulation of addiction: Focus on galanin Academic Article uri icon


  • Addiction is a chronic, relapsing disorder characterised by the use of a substance or act to the point of compulsion. There are a number of medical treatments available for the intervention of these disorders, however, the effectiveness of current therapeutics is far from adequate. Neuropeptides are known to modulate addictive behaviours and may provide new therapeutic targets for the treatment of substance abuse. Accumulating evidence has suggested galanin as a potential important neuromodulator of addiction. Both human genetic studies and animal models have highlighted a role for this neuropeptide in affective disorders, as well as alcohol, nicotine, and opiate dependence. This review highlights the role of galanin and other primary neuropeptides implicated in modulating addiction to different drugs of abuse. Orexin, relaxin-3, corticotrophin-releasing factor, dynorphin and enkephalin, are also discussed given their involvement in mediating reward-seeking behaviour.

publication date

  • March 1, 2020