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Brain Behav. 2015 Jul;5(7):e00352. doi: 10.1002/brb3.352. Epub 2015 May 28.

Striatal activity and reduced white matter increase frontal activity in youths with family histories of alcohol and other substance-use disorders performing a go/no-go task.

Author information

  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio San Antonio, Texas ; Research Imaging Institute, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio San Antonio, Texas.
  • 2Department of Psychiatry, Maryland Psychiatric Research Center, University of Maryland School of Medicine Baltimore, Maryland.
  • 3Oxford Centre for Functional MRI of the Brain, University of Oxford Oxford, UK ; Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine New Haven, Connecticut.
  • 4Department of Psychiatry, Maryland Psychiatric Research Center, University of Maryland School of Medicine Baltimore, Maryland ; Russell H. Morgan Department of Radiology and Radiological Science, Johns Hopkins University Baltimore, Maryland.
  • 5Department of Psychiatry, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio San Antonio, Texas.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

Youths with a family history of alcohol and other drug use disorders (FH+) are at greater risk of developing substance-use disorders relative to those with no such family histories (FH-). We previously reported that FH+ youths have elevated activity in the supplementary motor area (SMA) and dorsal striatum while performing go/no-go tasks and have reduced frontal white matter integrity. A better understanding of relationships between these variables would provide insight into how frontostriatal circuitry is altered in FH+ youths, which may be an important contributor to their elevated risk.

METHODS:

In this study, we used structural equation modeling (SEM) to test interactions between activity in the SMA and dorsal striatum in 72 FH+ and 32 FH- youths during go/no-go task performance and to determine whether increased activity in these regions in FH+ youths can be at least partially explained by reduced frontal white matter integrity, as indexed by anterior corona radiata fractional anisotropy and N-acetylaspartate.

RESULTS:

Increased dorsal striatum activity explained most (∽75%) of the elevated SMA activity in FH+ youths, and the combined contributions of increased dorsal striatal activity, and decreased white matter integrity fully explained the elevated SMA activity.

CONCLUSIONS:

These results suggest the elevated frontal cortical activity in FH+ youths is driven both by their increased striatal activity via downstream projections and reduced white matter integrity in frontal cortical projections, the latter likely increasing frontal cortical activity due to increased energy demands required for action potential propagation. As part of our ongoing longitudinal studies we will examine how these frontostriatal alterations relate to risk for developing substance-use disorders.

KEYWORDS:

Family history; functional magnetic resonance imaging; go/no-go task; risk; substance use; white matter integrity

PMID:
26221573
PMCID:
PMC4511289
DOI:
10.1002/brb3.352
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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