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Journal Article

Citation

Zou X, Durazzo TC, Meyerhoff DJ. Alcohol Clin. Exp. Res. 2018; 42(6): 1062-1072.

Affiliation

Center for Imaging of Neurodegenerative Diseases (CIND), Veterans Administration Medical Center, San Francisco, CA, United States.

Copyright

(Copyright © 2018, John Wiley and Sons)

DOI

10.1111/acer.13757

PMID

29672876

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Widespread brain atrophy in alcohol-dependent individuals (ALC) has been consistently documented in pathological and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies. Longitudinal MRI studies have shown that the regional brain volume losses in ALC are partially reversible during abstinence from alcohol. The goal of this study was to determine volume reductions in cortical and subcortical regions functionally important to substance use behavior and their changes during short-term (1 week to 1 month) and long-term abstinence (1 month to 7 months) from alcohol. The regions of interests (ROIs) were: anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), insula, amygdala, and hippocampus.

METHODS: A total of 85 unique ALC were assessed at 1 week (n = 65), 1 month (n = 82), and 7 months (n = 36) of abstinence. In addition, 17 light/non-drinking healthy controls (CON) were assessed at baseline and follow-up over a 10-month interval. Regional brain volumes were derived from FreeSurfer. Cross-sectional statistical analyses using one-way analysis of variance or Fisher's Exact Test were applied to identify group differences. Longitudinal statistical analyses using linear mixed models were applied to identify regional volume increases and non-linear volume recovery trajectories.

RESULTS: We demonstrated significant regional volume reductions in ACC, DLPFC, and hippocampus. Older age was associated with smaller DLPFC and OFC, and higher average monthly drinking over 1 year prior to study was associated with smaller OFC. We also demonstrated significant volume increases of all ROIs except amygdala in ALC and significant non-linear volume recovery trajectories of DLPFC, OFC, and insula.

CONCLUSIONS: Results showed significant volume reductions in key regions of the executive control, salience, and emotion networks in ALC at entry into treatment and significant volume increases during short-term and long-term abstinence that were non-linear over the entire abstinence period for the DLPFC, OFC and insula. This gray matter plasticity during alcohol abstinence may have important neurobiological and neurocognitive implications in ALC, and it may contribute to an individual's ability to maintain abstinence from alcohol at different phases. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.


Language: en

Keywords

Abstinence; Alcohol User Disorder; Longitudinal MRI; Recovery; Regional Brain Volume

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