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Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Resting state synchrony in long-term abstinent alcoholics with versus without comorbid drug dependence


We previously reported that when long-term abstinent alcoholics (LTAA; with no drug comorbidity) are compared to controls, they show increased resting state synchrony (RSS) in the executive control network and reduced RSS in the appetitive drive network suggestive of compensatory mechanisms that may facilitate abstinence.

The aim of the present study was to investigate whether long-term abstinent alcoholics with comorbid stimulants dependence (LTAAS) show similar RSS mechanisms.

Resting-state functional MRI data were collected on 36 LTAAS (20 females, age: 47.85±7.30), 23 LTAA (8 females, age: M=47.91±6.76), and 23 non-substance abusing controls (NSAC; 8 females, age: M=47.99±6.70). Using seed-based measures, we examined RSS with the nucleus accumbens (NAcc) and the subgenual anterior cingulate cortex (sgACC).

Results showed commonalities in LTAA and LTAAS RSS (similar enhanced executive control RSS and left insula RSS) as well as differences (no attenuation of appetitive drive RSS in LTAAS and no enhancement of RSS in right insula in LTAA)

We believe these differences are adaptive mechanisms that support abstinence. These findings suggest common as well as specific targets for treatment in chronic alcoholics with vs without comorbid stimulant dependence.

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