Cocaine-specific neuroplasticity in the ventral striatum network is linked to delay discounting and drug relapse

Oren Contreras-Rodriguez, Natalia Albein-Urios, Jose Cesar Perales-Lopez, Jose Miguel Martinez-Gonzalez, Raquel Vilar-Lopez, Maria Jose Fernandez-Serrano, Oscar M Lozano Rojas, Antonio Javier Verdejo-Garcia

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30 Citations (Scopus)


Aims: To contrast functional connectivity on ventral and dorsal striatum networks in cocaine dependence relative to pathological gambling, via a resting-state functional connectivity approach; and to determine the association between cocaine dependence-related neuroadaptations indexed by functional connectivity and impulsivity, compulsivity and drug relapse. Design: Cross-sectional study of 20 individuals with cocaine dependence (CD), 19 individuals with pathological gambling (PG) and 21 healthy controls (HC), and a prospective cohort study of 20 CD followed-up for 12 weeks to measure drug relapse. Setting and Participants: CD and PG were recruited through consecutive admissions to a public clinic specialized in substance addiction treatment (Centro Provincial de Drogodependencias) and a public clinic specialized in gambling treatment (AGRAJER), respectively; HC were recruited through community advertisement in the same area in Granada (Spain). Measurements: Seed-based functional connectivity in the ventral striatum (ventral caudate and ventral putamen) and dorsal striatum (dorsal caudate and dorsal putamen), the Kirby delay-discounting questionnaire, the reversal-learning task and a dichotomous measure of cocaine relapse indicated with self-report and urine tests. Findings: CD relative to PG exhibit enhanced connectivity between the ventral caudate seed and subgenual anterior cingulate cortex, the ventral putamen seed and dorsomedial pre-frontal cortex and the dorsal putamen seed and insula (P=0.001, kE=108). Connectivity between the ventral caudate seed and subgenual anterior cingulate cortex is associated with steeper delay discounting (P=0.001, kE=108) and cocaine relapse (P=0.005, kE=34). Conclusions: Cocaine dependence-related neuroadaptations in the ventral striatum of the brain network are associated with increased impulsivity and higher rate of cocaine relapse
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1953 - 1962
Number of pages10
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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