Altered White Matter Integrity in Adolescent Binge Drinkers

VA San Diego Healthcare System, San Diego, California, USA.
Alcoholism Clinical and Experimental Research (Impact Factor: 3.21). 05/2009; 33(7):1278-85. DOI: 10.1111/j.1530-0277.2009.00953.x
Source: PubMed


White matter integrity has been found to be compromised in adult alcoholics, but it is unclear when in the course of alcohol exposure white matter abnormalities become apparent. This study assessed microstructural white matter integrity among adolescent binge drinkers with no history of an alcohol use disorder.
We used diffusion tensor imaging to examine fractional anisotropy (FA), a measure of directional coherence of white matter tracts, among teens with (n = 14) and without (n = 14) histories of binge drinking but no history of alcohol use disorder, matched on age, gender, and education.
Binge drinkers had lower FA than controls in 18 white matter areas (clusters > or =27 contiguous voxels, each with p < 0.01) throughout the brain, including the corpus callosum, superior longitudinal fasciculus, corona radiata, internal and external capsules, and commissural, limbic, brainstem, and cortical projection fibers, while exhibiting no areas of higher FA. Among binge drinkers, lower FA in 6 of these regions was linked to significantly greater lifetime hangover symptoms and/or higher estimated peak blood alcohol concentrations.
Binge drinking adolescents demonstrated widespread reductions of FA in major white matter pathways. Although preliminary, these results could indicate that infrequent exposure to large doses of alcohol during youth may compromise white matter fiber coherence.

Download full-text


Available from: Lawrence Frank, Mar 21, 2014
    • "Abuse of alcohol and/or drugs, as well as binge drinking, have been reported to affect the microstructure of neural white matter (e.g. De Bellis et al. 2008; McQueeny et al. 2009; Thatcher et al. 2010); however, the direction of these effects is not consistent across studies. For instance, it is not clear whether white matter integrity is further compromised by continuous alcohol abuse with a binge drinking pattern at a time that brain development is still in progress (e.g. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Binge drinking is associated with impaired cognitive functioning, but the relationship of cognitive impairments and white matter integrity is less known. We used diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) to investigate the relationships of binge drinking, whole brain white matter integrity and cognitive performance during young adulthood (18 to 25 years), a period of continued brain development in two sessions 1 year apart. Binge drinkers (n = 20) and non-binge drinkers (n = 20) underwent DTI and completed measures of spatial working memory and motor impulsivity. Fractional anisotropy (FA), a measure derived from DTI, was estimated from whole brain and from five segments of the corpus callosum (CC): prefrontal, premotor/supplementary motor, motor, (SMA) sensory and parietal/temporal/occipital (PTO). FA was lower for binge than for non-binge men but not women at Session 1 and 2 for all measurements except for FA in the motor segment, which was significantly increased from Session 1 to Session 2. Lower FA in the prefrontal and PTO CC segments was associated with higher binge score, whereas lower FA in all five segments was associated with greater drug use in men and worse spatial working memory both in men and women. These findings extend the literature by showing that in early adulthood, binge drinking and drug use are linked with degradations in neural white matter and that compromised white matter at this period of brain development is linked with impaired cognitive functioning.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2015 · Addiction Biology
  • Source
    • "This is of clinical significance given that exposure to alcohol prior to the age of 14, which represents a sensitive and vulnerable period of brain development, may increase the risk of later impulsivity and alcohol dependence (Hingson et al., 2006; Liang & Chikritzhs, 2013; Stautz & Cooper, 2013; Vargas, Bengston, Gilpin, Whitcomb, & Richardson, 2014). These structural brain changes as a consequence of adolescent binge drinking may endure through adulthood , resulting in general cognitive impairment and specific deficits in executive functioning and memory (Hermens et al., 2013; Mcqueeny et al., 2009). For younger adolescents, peer pressure, which is known to play a role in alcohol use, may be an important mediator of the relation between Internet use and binge drinking (Mercken, Steglich, Knibbe, & De Vries, 2012). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Objective: To investigate the relation between Internet use and binge drinking during early and middle adolescence. Methods: This is a cross-sectional study of a sub-sample of 8(th) and 10(th) graders from the Monitoring the Future (MtF) study, which annually surveys a nationally representative sample of U.S. youth on their attitudes, behaviors, and values. This study includes data from 21,170 8(th) and 24,362 10(th) graders who participated between 2007 and 2012 and were asked questions about Internet use and binge drinking. Results: In fully adjusted models, we found a dose response relation between hours of recreational Internet use (i.e. outside work or school) and binge drinking which was stronger for 8(th) than 10(th) graders. Compared to <1 h of Internet use per week, odds ratios estimates for 1-5 h/week, 6-19 h/week, and 20 or more h/week were 1.24 (99% CI: 0.85, 1.82), 1.83 (1.28, 2.61), and 2.78 (1.99, 3.87) for 8(th) graders, respectively. For 10(th) graders, this same association was attenuated [estimated OR=1.06 (99% CI: 0.96, 1.16); 1.20 (1.03, 1.40); and 1.30 (1.07, 1.58), respectively]. Conclusions: Drawing on a nationally representative sample of U.S. youth, we find a significant, dose-response relation between Internet use and binge drinking. This relation was stronger in 8(th) graders versus 10(th) graders. Given that alcohol is the most abused substance among adolescents and binge drinking confers many health risks, longitudinal studies designed to examine the mediators of this relation are necessary to inform binge drinking prevention strategies, which may have greater impact if targeted at younger adolescents.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2015
  • Source
    • "The pre-existing atlas was registered to the population average and the accompanying segmentation into seven regions of interest, which included the amygdala, cerebellum, corpus callosum, hippocampus, hypothalamus, neocortex and striatum, were propagated along these computed deformation fields, first to the population average and then to the individual subjects. Of these regions, we focused our analyses on the cerebellum, corpus callosum, hippocampus and neocortex (see Fig. 2b), as these brain regions are typically reported as vulnerable to the effects of alcoholism in the human literature (De Bellis et al. 2000, 2005; McQueeny et al. 2009; Lisdahl et al. 2013). Rigorous quality control was performed after each step to ensure automatic processing performance was satisfactory. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Adolescence is characterized by considerable brain maturation that coincides with the development of adult behavior. Binge drinking is common during adolescence and can have deleterious effects on brain maturation because of the heightened neuroplasticity of the adolescent brain. Using an animal model of adolescent intermittent ethanol [AIE; 5.0 g/kg, intragastric, 20 percent EtOH w/v; 2 days on/2 days off from postnatal day (P)25 to P55], we assessed the adult brain structural volumes and integrity on P80 and P220 using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI). While we did not observe a long-term effect of AIE on structural volumes, AIE did reduce axial diffusivity (AD) in the cerebellum, hippocampus and neocortex. Radial diffusivity (RD) was reduced in the hippocampus and neocortex of AIE-treated animals. Prior AIE treatment did not affect fractional anisotropy (FA), but did lead to long-term reductions of mean diffusivity (MD) in both the cerebellum and corpus callosum. AIE resulted in increased anxiety-like behavior and diminished object recognition memory, the latter of which was positively correlated with DTI measures. Across aging, whole brain volumes increased, as did volumes of the corpus callosum and neocortex. This was accompanied by age-associated AD reductions in the cerebellum and neocortex as well as RD and MD reductions in the cerebellum. Further, we found that FA increased in both the cerebellum and corpus callosum as rats aged from P80 to P220. Thus, both age and AIE treatment caused long-term changes to brain structural integrity that could contribute to cognitive dysfunction. © 2015 Society for the Study of Addiction.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2015 · Addiction Biology
Show more