Brain activation to cannabis- and alcohol-related words in alcohol use disorder.

Psychiatry Res Neuroimaging. 2019 Nov 02;294:111005

Authors: Müller-Oehring EM, Berre AL, Serventi M, Kalon E, Haas AL, Padula CB, Schulte T

Cannabis abuse commonly co-occurs with alcohol use disorder (AUD). With increased acceptance and accessibility to cannabis in the US, it is imperative to understand the psychological and neural mechanisms of concurrent alcohol and cannabis use. We hypothesized that neural alcohol-cue conditioning may extent to other drug-related stimuli, such as cannabis, and underwrite the loss of control over reward-driven behavior. Task-activated fMRI examined the neural correlates of alcohol- and cannabis-related word cues in 21 abstinent AUD and 18 control subjects. Relative to controls, AUD showed behavioral attentional biases and frontal hypoactivation to both alcohol- and cannabis-related words. This cue-elicited prefrontal hypoactivation was related to higher lifetime alcohol consumption (pcorrected < 0.02) and modulated by past cannabis use histories (p ≦ 0.001). In particular, frontal hypoactivation to both alcohol and cannabis cues was pronounced in AUD without prior cannabis exposure. Overall, frontal control mechanisms in abstinent AUD were not sufficiently engaged to override automatic alcohol and cannabis-related intrusions, enhancing the risk for relapse and potentially for alcohol and cannabis co-use with the increased social acceptance and accessibility in the US.

PMID: 31715379 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

Source: ncbi 2

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