White matter impairment in chronic heroin dependence: A quantitative DTI study.
ABSTRACT Exposure to addictive drugs has been associated with disrupted brain white matter integrity. A few studies have examined the white matter deficits in heroin users; however, the results were influenced by the use of substitution drugs such as methadone and buprenorphine. The present study assessed the alteration in white matter integrity and heroin-related neuropathology in heroin dependents who had not received any replacement therapy using quantitative diffusion tensor imaging (DTI). The study comprised 17 heroin-dependent (HD) subjects and 15 matched healthy controls (HC). Fractional anisotropy (FA) and eigenvalues (λ┴,λ||) of white matter in the whole brain were measured and compared using a voxel-based analysis. The correlation between DTI measurements in identified regions and history of heroin exposure was tested by partial correlation analysis. Compared with HCs, HD subjects displayed decreased FA in the bilateral frontal lobe sub-gyrus, cingulate gyrus, medial frontal gyrus, extra-nuclear, left temporal lobe sub-gyrus and right superior frontal gyrus. Among these regions, the HD group had significantly increased λ┴ in the bilateral frontal lobe sub-gyrus, cingulate gyrus and extra-nuclear relative to the HC group. There were no group differences in λ||. In addition, there were no significant correlations between duration of heroin use or accumulated dosage and FA or λ┴ values. In conclusion, chronic heroin-dependent subjects had widespread disruption of white matter structural connectivity located mainly in anterior and superior regions of the brain. Damage to myelin other than axons was the primary pathological feature in the brain of the heroin user.
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ABSTRACT: Psychiatric disorders are common throughout the world and are a leading cause of disability. There is a growing appreciation of the importance of connectivity to brain function. Disruption of this connectivity can result in brain dysfunction manifested in impaired cognitive functioning and the development of clinical symptoms. White matter forms the basis of anatomical connectivity. Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) is a useful tool for examining and quantifying white matter microstructure. Clinical research studies in alcoholism, HIV-1 infection, geriatric depression and schizophrenia using DTI have revealed abnormalities in white matter microstructure. The use of complementary imaging methods may be helpful in further characterizing these abnormalities. Other psychiatric disorders may also have white matter involvement amenable to study with DTI. Advances in acquisition and analysis methods will be necessary to further advance work in this field. The study of animal models and postmortem tissue may be helpful in elucidating the neurobiological underpinnings of abnormalities observed with DTI.NMR in Biomedicine 11/2002; 15(7-8):587-93. DOI:10.1002/nbm.789 · 3.56 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Studies of the neurobiological processes underlying drug addiction primarily have focused on limbic subcortical structures. Here the authors evaluated the role of frontal cortical structures in drug addiction. An integrated model of drug addiction that encompasses intoxication, bingeing, withdrawal, and craving is proposed. This model and findings from neuroimaging studies on the behavioral, cognitive, and emotional processes that are at the core of drug addiction were used to analyze the involvement of frontal structures in drug addiction. The orbitofrontal cortex and the anterior cingulate gyrus, which are regions neuroanatomically connected with limbic structures, are the frontal cortical areas most frequently implicated in drug addiction. They are activated in addicted subjects during intoxication, craving, and bingeing, and they are deactivated during withdrawal. These regions are also involved in higher-order cognitive and motivational functions, such as the ability to track, update, and modulate the salience of a reinforcer as a function of context and expectation and the ability to control and inhibit prepotent responses. These results imply that addiction connotes cortically regulated cognitive and emotional processes, which result in the overvaluing of drug reinforcers, the undervaluing of alternative reinforcers, and deficits in inhibitory control for drug responses. These changes in addiction, which the authors call I-RISA (impaired response inhibition and salience attribution), expand the traditional concepts of drug dependence that emphasize limbic-regulated responses to pleasure and reward.American Journal of Psychiatry 11/2002; 159(10):1642-52. DOI:10.1176/appi.ajp.159.10.1642 · 13.56 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Myelin loss and axonal damage are both observed in white matter injuries. Each may have significant impact on the long-term disability of patients. Currently, there does not exist a noninvasive biological marker that enables differentiation between myelin and axonal injury. We describe herein the use of magnetic resonance diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) to quantify the effect of dysmyelination on water directional diffusivities in brains of shiverer mice in vivo. The principal diffusion eigenvalues of eight axonal fiber tracts that can be identified with certainty on DTI maps were measured. The water diffusivity perpendicular to axonal fiber tracts, lambda(perpendicular), was significantly higher in shiverer mice compared with age-matched controls, reflecting the lack of myelin and the increased freedom of cross-fiber diffusion in white matter. The water diffusivity parallel to axonal fiber tracts, lambda(parallel), was not different, which is consistent with the presence of intact axons. It is clear that dysmyelination alone does not impact lambda(parallel). The presence of intact axons in the setting of incomplete myelination was confirmed by electron microscopy. Although further validation is still needed, our finding suggests that changes in lambda(perpendicular) and lambda(parallel) may potentially be used to differentiate myelin loss versus axonal injury.NeuroImage 12/2002; 17(3):1429-36. DOI:10.1006/nimg.2002.1267 · 6.13 Impact Factor