Johan Franck´s research group

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Treatment of addictive disorders

The process leading up to addictive disorders is complex and several factors contribute to induce and maintain addictions to both drugs and natural rewards, including drug priming and exposure to drug related cues. Our research group aims at evaluating novel pharmacological treatments for alcohol and amphetamine dependence, respectively. We also develop treatment for co-morbid ADHD and substance dependence. We collaborate with researchers in psychotherapy, epidemiology, genetics, and infectious diseases.

One main focus is the effects of pharmaceutical drugs on drug-craving, drug-seeking behavior and relapse to illicit drug use in patients with addictive disorders. By combining human experimental models and placebo controlled clinical trials in natural settings we strive to shorten the gap between discovery, medication safety trials and efficacy trials.

We work with three distinct clinical populations: patients with amphetamine dependence, patients with alcohol dependence, and patients with a co-morbid diagnosis of ADHD and a concomitant substance use disorder. We are currently expanding our scope to study treatment methods for opioid dependent patients, as well as evaluation of the Stockholm needle-exchange programme for injecting drug users.

Research Projects

Alcohol dependence

  • Clinical trials of novel pharmaceutical compounds for relapse prevention in alcohol dependence
  • Human laboratory study of cue-induced craving for amphetamine
  • Human laboratory study of cue and alcohol-induced craving for alcohol
  • PET neuroimaging of adaptations in the brain glutamate system following long-term heavy alcohol use
  • Studies on new pharmaceutical drug candidates on alcohol seeking behavior

Amphetamine dependence and comorbidities

  • Functional neuroimaging (fMRI) of patients with amphetamine dependence
  • Opioid mechanisms in amphetamine dependence
  • Clinical trial of sustained release methylphenidate in amphetamine dependent patients with a criminal life style
  • European prevalence study of ADHD among patients with substance use disorders (ICASA collaboration)
  • Prevalence of ADHD among women convicted to prison in Sweden
  • Health economic analysis of ADHD-treatment in comorbid substance use disorders


  • Genetic risk factors for amphetamine dependence
  • Evaluation of the Stockholm needle-exchange programme
  • Clinical trial of mentalization-based treatment (MBT) for comorbid substance dependence and borderline personality disorder

Selected Publications

Evaluation of guanfacine as a potential medication for alcohol use disorder in long-term drinking rats: behavioral and electrophysiological findings.
Fredriksson I, Jayaram-Lindström N, Wirf M, Nylander E, Nyström E, Jardemark K, et al
Neuropsychopharmacology 2015 Mar;40(5):1130-40

Methylphenidate for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and drug relapse in criminal offenders with substance dependence: a 24-week randomized placebo-controlled trial.
Konstenius M, Jayaram-Lindström N, Guterstam J, Beck O, Philips B, Franck J
Addiction 2014 Mar;109(3):440-9

Pharmacotherapy for alcohol dependence: status of current treatments.
Franck J, Jayaram-Lindström N
Curr. Opin. Neurobiol. 2013 Aug;23(4):692-9

Effects of amphetamine on the human brain opioid system--a positron emission tomography study.
Guterstam J, Jayaram-Lindström N, Cervenka S, Frost J, Farde L, Halldin C, et al
Int. J. Neuropsychopharmacol. 2013 May;16(4):763-9

The monoamine stabilizer (-)-OSU6162 attenuates voluntary ethanol intake and ethanol-induced dopamine output in nucleus accumbens.
Steensland P, Fredriksson I, Holst S, Feltmann K, Franck J, Schilström B, et al
Biol. Psychiatry 2012 Nov;72(10):823-31

Group members

Yakoub Aw Aden AbdiAssociated
Rebecka BromanAssociated
Christoffer BrynteGraduate Student
Johan FranckProfessor/senior physician
Jeanette GeorgievaAssociated
Joar GuterstamGraduate Student
Anders HammarbergAssociated
Ulric HermanssonAdjunct senior lecturer
Per HolmbergGraduate Student
Nitya Jayaram-LindströmAssistant professor
Daniel Kardefelt WintherAssociated, Postdoc
Lotfi KhemiriGraduate Student
Per Bertil KonradssonGraduate Student
Maija KonsteniusAssociated
Åsa MagnussonAdjunct lecturer
Anna PerssonGraduate Student
Ulf RydbergAssociated