Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research 32 (3) , 386–394
Adolescents with alcohol use disorders (AUD) have shown smaller prefrontal cortex (PFC) volumes compared with healthy controls; however, differences may have been due to comorbid disorders.
This study examined PFC volumes in male and female adolescents with AUD who did not meet criteria for comorbid mood or attention disorders.
After controlling for conduct disorder, gender, and intracranial volume, AUD teens demonstrated marginally smaller anterior ventral PFC volumes (p = 0.09) than controls, and significant interactions between group and gender were observed (p <>p <>
Consistent with adult literature, alcohol use during adolescence is associated with prefrontal volume abnormalities, including white matter differences. However, adolescents with AUD demonstrated gender-specific morphometric patterns.
Thus, it is possible that gender may moderate the impact of adolescent alcohol use on prefrontal neurodevelopment, and the neurodevelopmental trajectories of heavy drinking boys and girls should be evaluated separately in longitudinal studies.
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