Neurobiology of Substance of Abuse (Drugs) and Behavioural Addiction in Africa

  • Godfrey S. Bbosa


Addiction to substances of abuse (drugs) and behaviours is a common problem in various communities in Africa. These substances and behaviours influence neurobiological processes in the brain and mainly affect the mesolimbic dopaminergic pathway (reward pathway) that connects two important nuclei, the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and nucleus accumbens (NAc), in the brain, which are responsible for the individual happiness and pleasures. They also affect a multitude of neurons and the neurochemicals they release in the brain, their precursor molecules, synthesis, storage in the vesicles, release, transporters and their metabolizing systems at the synapses, receptors, transcription factors and their effects on the signal transduction pathways. However, race and ethnicity as well as tribal differences among whites, Blacks, Asians, Japanese and Chinese have been reported to play a role in individual responses to alcohol and other substances/drugs of abuse, and behavioural addictions and their effects on the brain. And the differences are mainly due to the pharmacokinetics (PK), pharmacodynamics (PD) and pharmacogenetics (PG), and transporters of the substances/drugs in the body. The chapter aims to ascertain the neurobiology of addiction in African population. It further seeks to interrogate African literature and compare and contrast the neurobiology of substance of abuse (drugs) and behavioural addiction globally.


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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Godfrey S. Bbosa
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Pharmacology & TherapeuticsMakerere University College of Health SciencesKampalaUganda
  2. 2.Harvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA

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