Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2022 Feb 28. doi: 10.1111/acer.14797. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND: Simultaneous or concurrent use (co-use) of alcohol and cannabis is associated with greater use of both substances over time, academic difficulties, more severe substance use consequences, and impacts on cognitive functioning relative to single substance or no substance use. While negative consequences associated with co-use are known, this study examined potential neural mechanisms underlying co-use behaviors versus single substance use, specifically whether alcohol cue-reactivity and stress-cue reactivity differed between co-users reporting frequent same-day use co-use and individuals reporting only alcohol use.

METHODS: Participants included 88 individuals (41 women) reporting only alcohol use and 24 individuals (8 women) reporting co-use of alcohol and cannabis on at least 50% of drinking occasions who completed fMRI stress and alcohol cue reactivity tasks. Because of known sex effects on stress reactivity and alcohol cue reactivity, we tested sex by co-use interactions.

RESULTS: During alcohol cue presentation, co-users had hypoactivation in thalamus and dorsomedial prefrontal cortex relative to alcohol only users, effects that were driven by differences in responses to neutral cues. Examination of stress cue reactivity revealed sex by co-use interactions in lingual gyrus, with women co-users showing a greater difference between negative and neutral cue reactivity compared to all other groups. In addition, women co-users had elevated connectivity between nucleus accumbens and both medial orbitofrontal cortex and rostral anterior cingulate cortex during negative cue presentation compared to other groups.

CONCLUSIONS: These results provide preliminary evidence of enhanced stress cue reactivity in individuals reporting co-use of alcohol and cannabis, particularly women co-users.

PMID:35229336 | DOI:10.1111/acer.14797

Source: ncbi 2

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