About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Study Says Cocaine Addicts Have Abnormalities in Brains Cerebral Cortex

by Rajashri on October 10, 2008 at 6:22 PM
Font : A-A+

 Study Says Cocaine Addicts Have Abnormalities in Brains Cerebral Cortex

Abnormalities in the cortex, the outer surface of the brain, among cocaine addicts that seem to correlate with dysfunction in areas responsible for attention and for reward-based decision-making have been uncovered by experts at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH).

Writing about their brain imaging study in the journal Neuron, the researchers said that though some of the abnormalities might reflect an inborn vulnerability to drug use, others appeared to be the result of long-term cocaine exposure.

Advertisement

"These data point to a mixture of both drug effects and predisposition underlying the structural alterations we observed," said Dr. Hans Breiter, principal investigator of the Phenotype Genotype Project in Addiction and Mood Disorder in the MGH Departments of Radiology and Psychiatry.

"They also suggest that a key feature of addiction ? reduction in the range of activities in which addicts participate ? has a neural signature in the form of reduced cortical thickness in frontal regions of the brain," the researcher added.
Advertisement

During the study, magnetic resonance imaging investigations were conducted on 20 cocaine addicts and 20 carefully matched control participants to determine variations in cortical thickness.

The researchers found that, compared to their healthy counterparts, cocaine addicts had significantly less overall cortical volume, particularly in areas regulating reward function and involved with decision-making.

They said that the marked cortical thinness of areas involved in reward regulation and attention was not compensated by increases in other areas.

While the cortex of some frontal regions is typically thicker in the right hemisphere than the left, the researchers found that relationship to be reversed for the addicts.

Throughout the brain, cocaine addicts had much less variation in cortical thickness than did controls, the researchers said.

The decreased variability of cortical thickness and assymetry between hemispheres seen in the addicts was not associated with how long they had been using drugs, Breiter said, and was likely to reflect an inborn predisposition to drug use.

Right- and left-side differences in the brain are important for many behaviours, and when they are altered, there is usually a genetic cause.

In contrast, another brain region involved with the regulation of reward ? the cingulate ? had cortical thickness measures that were related to the length of cocaine exposure but not to how long participants used nicotine or alcohol, implying that cocaine itself caused that difference.

Based on their observations, the researchers came to the conclusion that addiction-associated cortical thickness abnormalities may reflect both drug use and a pre-existing inclination to abuse drugs.

"The severity of these cortical alterations point to the potential importance of prevention efforts to keep susceptible individuals from beginning to use cocaine," Breiter says.

"Next we need to see if these findings are limited to cocaine users by testing larger groups of participants with different addictions and with commonly accompanying diagnoses like depression," the researcher adds.

Source: ANI
RAS/L
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Advertisement
News Category
What's New on Medindia
International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2021 - Fighting for Rights in the Post-COVID Era
Effect of Blood Group Type on COVID-19 Risk and Severity
Woman with Rare Spinal Cord Defect from Birth Sues Doctor
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Parkinsons Disease Surgical Treatment Cannabis Drug Abuse Screening Test Drug Abuse Brain Brain Facts Ataxia Drug Detox Language Areas in The Brain Ways to Improve your Intelligence Quotient (IQ) 

Recommended Reading
Drug Abuse
The use of Drugs for reasons other than its prescribed recommendation, is known as Drug abuse or ......
ADHD Drugs may Cut Drug Abuse Risk in Girls
A new study has found that treatment with stimulant drugs appears to significantly decrease the ......
Making Winehouse Work While Ill, Makes Mom-in-law Angry
Troubled English singer Amy Winehouse's mother-in-law Georgette Civil has blasted the singer's ......
Ataxia
Ataxia affects coordination. Gait becomes unstable and the patient loses balance. The cerebellum or ...
Cannabis
Cannabis has a long history of medicinal, recreational, and industrial use and comes from a bushy pl...
Drug Detox
Drug detoxification (or drug detox) is a process that helps drug addicts to give up drugs with less ...
Language Areas in The Brain
The mechanism of how human brain processes the language to express and comprehend the verbal, writte...
Ways to Improve your Intelligence Quotient (IQ)
Intelligence quotient (IQ) is a psychological measure of human intelligence. Regular physical and me...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use