Biol Psychiatry Cogn Neurosci Neuroimaging. 2020 Dec 19:S2451-9022(20)30373-6. doi: 10.1016/j.bpsc.2020.11.016. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: Alcohol and cannabis are commonly used by adolescents in the United States. Both alcohol use disorder (AUD) and cannabis use disorder (CUD) have been associated with an increased risk of aggression. One form of aggression seen during retaliation is reactive aggression to social provocation. This study investigated the association between AUD and CUD symptom severity and recruitment of neural regions implicated in retaliation.
METHODS: In this study, 102 youths aged 13-18 years (67 male; 84 in residential care) completed self-report measures of aggression-related constructs and participated in a retaliation task during functional magnetic resonance imaging to investigate the association between relative severity of AUD/CUD and atypical recruitment of regions implicated in retaliation.
RESULTS: AUD Identification Test scores were positively associated with irritability and reactive aggression scores. CUD Identification Test scores were positively associated with callous-unemotional traits and both proactive and reactive aggression scores. In functional magnetic resonance imaging analyses, only AUD Identification Test (not CUD Identification Test) scores were associated with an exaggerated recruitment of regions implicated in retaliation (dorsomedial frontal, anterior insula cortices, caudate, and, to a lesser extent, periaqueductal gray).
CONCLUSIONS: These data suggest that relative severity of AUD is associated with a disinhibited, exaggerated retaliation response that relates to an increased risk for reactive aggression. Similar findings were not related to severity of CUD.
Source: ncbi 2