Neuropsychopharmacology. 2022 Apr 28. doi: 10.1038/s41386-022-01321-5. Online ahead of print.
Glutamate plays an important role in continued use of and relapse to abused substances. However, its involvement in cannabis withdrawal is still unclear. We hypothesize that regional glutamate is associated with the cannabis withdrawal syndrome and recently examined possible association of glutamate with cannabis withdrawal, using magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS), in non-treatment-seeking cannabis users. We recruited 26 frequent cannabis users and 11 age-matched non-using controls. Of the 37, 20 users (8f/12m) and 10 controls (5f/5m) completed a verified 21-day abstinence protocol. Dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC) glutamate and γ-amino butyric acid (GABA) were measured with proton MRS at baseline and on abstinent days 7 and 21 in conjunction with measures of cannabis withdrawal and craving (MCQ), sleep difficulties (PSQI) and mood state. We used ANOVA to examine group differences in glutamate and GABA from baseline through day 21 and used linear regression to evaluate correlations between intra-individual glutamate and withdrawal symptoms. We found that self-reported anxiety severity (HAMA) was correlated with urinary THC/Cr ratios at baseline (r = 0.768, p = 0.000076) and abstinent day 7 (r = 0.5636, p = 0.0097), dACC glutamate was significantly lower in the users compared with the controls from baseline through day 21 (F = 5.90, p = 0.022), changes in glutamate between baseline and abstinent day 21 had a significantly negative correlation with corresponding changes in craving (r = -0.72, p = 0.005) after adjusting for age, consumption of alcohol/cigarettes, sleep difficulties, and urinary THC levels. These findings provide preliminary evidence that dACC glutamate is associated with the cannabis withdrawal syndrome.
Source: ncbi 2