Wim van den Brink

Addiction, Forensic Psychiatry, Epidemiology

Focus of Research:

Substance use disorders and behavioral addictions are the conseqence of a negative interaction between blogical, psychological and social factors. As they come into existence they are best regarded as brain disorders. Our mission is to conduct patient-centered addiction research resulting in better- evidence based treatments for patients with addictive disorders. We try to achieve this goal through development and testing of effective and efficient treatments and exploration of mechanisms underlying treatment success. Emphasis is on clinical research, but recently we initiated pre-clinical studies to pilot new interventions and to enhance our understanding of tretament processes.
We distinghish three (overlapping) themes:
(1) Basic neurbiological research investigating factors involved in the initiation and persistance of addictive behaviours, e.g. neurobiology of craving, neurocognitive deficits associated with pathological gambling, neurobiological predicors of treatment success. One of our main technologies here is neuroimaging (SPECT, fMRI, DTI, H.MRS).
(2) Treatment research, testing the effectiveness of addiction treatments and their underlying processes, e.g. treatment efficacy, process evaluation, double diagnosis treatmentss, and patient-treatment matching (pharmacogenomics). A recent interest is the study of neuromodulation techniques: transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and deep brain stimulation (DBS).
(3) Health services research, investigating healthcare systems, e.g. implementation of evidence-based interventions, quality of health care, cost-effectiveness.

AMC themes: Neurological & Psychiatric Disorders
Departments: Psychiatry: Adult Psychiatry


Anne Marije Kaag

The role of the serotonergic system in the development and treatment of cocaine dependence

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Eline Zaaijer

Feasibility, mechanism of action and potential side effects of extended release depot naltrexone in opioid dependent patients

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Jochem Jansen

Changing the Cycle of Alcohol Dependence: An fMRI interventional study using repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

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Judy Luigjes

Deep Brain Stimulation in Chronic Treatment refractory Drug Dependence: A Pilot Study

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Mieke Schulte

The effect of N-acetylcysteine treatment on brain glutamate concentrations in nicotine dependence

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Minni McMaster

“Neurotoxicity of GHB addiction and GHB-induced coma”

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Ruth van Holst

(Behavioural) Addictions

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Key Publications:

de Ruiter MB, Veltman DJ, Goudriaan AE, Oosterlaan J, Sjoerds Z, van den Brink W, Response Perseveration and Ventral Prefrontal Sensitivity to Reward and Punishment in Male Problem Gamblers and Smokers. NEUROPSYCHOPHARMACOL 2009;34 (4):1027-1038

de Win MML, Jager G, Booij J, Reneman L, Schilt T, Lavini C, Olabarriaga SD, den Heeten GJ, van den Brink W, Sustained effects of ecstasy on the human brain: a prospective neuroimaging study in novel users. BRAIN 2008;131 (Part 11):2936-2945

Schilt T, de Win MML, Koeter M, Jager G, Korf DJ, van den Brink W, Schmand B, Cognition in novice ecstasy users with minimal exposure to other drugs: a prospective cohort study. ARCH GEN PSYCHIAT 2007;64 (6):728-736

Dijkgraaf MGW, van der Zanden BP, de Borgie CAJM, Blanken P, van Ree JM, van den Brink W, Cost utility analysis of co-prescribed heroin compared with methadone maintenance treatment in heroin addicts in two randomised trials. BRIT MED J 2005;330 (7503):1297-1300A

Dom G, Sabbe B, Hulstijn W, van den Brink W, Substance use disorders and the orbitofrontal cortex – Systematic review of behavioural decision-making and neuroimaging studies. BRIT J PSYCHIAT 2005;187:209-220


Amsterdam Institute for Addiction Research
Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam
Department of Psychiatry, room PA1.188
Meibergdreef 5
1105 AZ Amsterdam
The Netherlands

Post address:
P.O. BOX 22660
1100 DD Amsterdam
The Netherlands

Phone + 31 20 891 36 28
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