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Front Psychiatry. 2017 Sep 25;8:182. doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2017.00182. eCollection 2017.

Executive Control and Striatal Resting-State Network Interact with Risk Factors to Influence Treatment Outcomes in Alcohol-Use Disorder.

Kohno M1,2,3, Dennis LE1,2,3, McCready H1,2,3, Hoffman WF1,2,3,4,5.

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Department of Psychiatry, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR, United States.
Department of Behavioral Neuroscience, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR, United States.
Methamphetamine Abuse Research Center, Portland, OR, United States.
Mental Health and Clinical Neurosciences Division, Portland, OR, United States.
Research Service Veterans Affairs Portland Healthcare System, Portland, OR, United States.


Alterations within mesocorticolimbic terminal regions commonly occur with alcohol use disorder (AUD). As pathological drug-seeking behavior may arise as a consequence of alcohol-induced neuroadaptations, it is critical to understand how such changes increase the likelihood of relapse. This report examined resting-state functional connectivity (RSFC) using both a seed-based and model-free approach in individuals in treatment for AUD and how dysregulation of network connectivity contributes to treatment outcomes. In order to provide a mechanism by which neural networks promote relapse, interactive effects of mesocorticolimbic connectivity and AUD risk factors in treatment completers and non-completers were examined. AUD group showed stronger RSFC between striatum, insula, and anterior cingulate cortex than controls. Within the AUD group, non-completers compared to completers showed enhanced RSFC between (1) striatum-insula, (2) executive control network (ECN)-amygdala, and (3) basal ganglia/salience network and striatum, precuneus, and insula. Completers showed enhanced RSFC between striatum-right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. Furthermore, completers and non-completers differed in relationships between RSFC and relapse risk factors, where non-completers exhibited positive associations between craving intensity and RSFC of striatum-insula and ECN-amygdala. These findings provide evidence for interactions between corticolimbic connectivity in AUD and craving and establish an important link between network connectivity and dynamic risk factors that contribute to relapse. Results demonstrate that relapse vulnerability is attributed to craving dysregulation manifested by enhanced connectivity in striato-limbic regions and diminished corticostriatal connectivity.


alcohol-use disorder; craving; mesocorticolimbic; relapse; resting-state fMRI; treatment

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