Differential association between the regional metabolism of the prefrontal cortex and limbic structures, and the time of abstinence in substance dependent individuals

Laura Moreno-Lopez, Maria Jose Fernandez-Serrano, Emmanuel Andreas Stamatakis, Manuel Gomez-Rio, Antonio Rodriguez-Fernandez, Miguel Perez-Garcia, Antonio Javier Verdejo-Garcia

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Despite the existence of numerous neuroimaging studies demonstrating significant brain functional alterations in substance users, only a few studies have tried to analyze the association between the duration of abstinence and brain metabolism within substance users. The aim of this study was to examine the association between resting-state regional brain metabolism (measured with 18F-fuordeoxyglucose Positron Emission Tomography (FDG-PET) and duration of drug abstinence in a sample of 49 abstinent polysubstance users. PET images were pre-processed and analyzed using SPM5 and SPSS 15. After image pre-processing, the level of glucose uptake in a pre-established set of regions of interest was extracted and bivariate correlations between this and the duration of abstinence of the participants were conducted. Results showed a negative correlation between duration of abstinence and the amygdale and the hippocampus bilaterally and a positive correlation between duration of abstinence and the left inferior frontal operculum. The associations found suggest different involvement of these structures in maintaining abstinence and emphasize the need to work on stress regulation, craving and behaviour control even after significant periods of abstinence.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)348 - 355
Number of pages8
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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