Background: In vivo magnetic resonance studies have found that cocaine dependence is associated with T2 signal hyperintensities and metabolite abnormalities in cerebral white matter (WM). Functional neuroimaging studies have suggested that chronic cocaine use is primarily associated with frontal lobe deficits in regional cerebral blood flow and brain glucose metabolism levels; however, the effects of cocaine dependence, if any, on frontal WM microstructure are unknown. Thus, we sought to examine the effects of cocaine dependence on frontal WM integrity.
Methods: Diffusion tensor imaging was employed to examine the WM integrity of frontal regions at four levels: 10 mm above, 5 mm above, 0 mm above, and 5 mm below the anterior commissure-posterior commissure (AC-PC) plane. The fractional anisotropy (FA) of 12 cocaine-dependent patients and 13 age-similar control subjects was compared.
Results: The cocaine-dependent patients had significantly reduced FA in the frontal WM at the AC-PC plane and a trend toward reduced FA at 5 mm below the AC-PC plane, suggestive of reduced WM integrity in these regions.
Conclusions: These findings were consistent with the hypothesis that cocaine dependence involves alterations in orbitofrontal connectivity, which may be involved in the decision-making deficits seen in this disorder.
To read this article in full you will need to make a payment
Purchase one-time access:Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
One-time access price info
- For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
- For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'
Subscribe:Subscribe to Biological Psychiatry
Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
Already an online subscriber? Sign in
Register: Create an account
Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect
- Magnetic resonance imaging evidence of “silent” cerebrovascular toxicity in cocaine dependence.Biol Psychiatry. 1999; 45 (1203–1121)
- Age-related brain volume reductions in amphetamine and cocaine addicts and normal control subjects.Psychiatry Res. 2000; 98: 93-102
- Inferring microstructural features and the physiological state of tissues from diffusion-weighted images.NMR Biomed. 1995; 8: 333-344
- MR diffusion tensor spectroscopy and imaging.Biophys J. 1994; 66: 259-267
- Neuropsychological performance of recently abstinent alcoholics and cocaine abusers.Drug Alcohol Depend. 1995; 37: 247-253
- Characterization of the decision-making deficit of patients with ventromedial prefrontal cortex lesions.Brain. 2000; 123: 2189-2202
- Dose-related neurobehavioral effects of chronic cocaine use.J Neuropsychiatry Clin Neurosci. 1999; 11: 361-369
- Gender effects on persistent cerebral metabolite changes in the frontal lobes of abstinent cocaine users.Am J Psychiatry. 1999; 156: 716-722
- Dissociable functions in the medial and lateral orbitofrontal cortex.Cereb Cortex. 2000; 10: 308-317
- Drug abusers show impaired performance in a laboratory test of decision making.Neuropsychologia. 2000; 38: 1180-1187
- Locating and fractionating working memory using functional neuroimaging.Microsc Res Tech. 2000; 51: 45-53
- Cumulative white matter changes in the gerbil brain under chronic cerebral hypoperfusion.Acta Neuropathol. 1992; 84: 437-442
- Quantitative morphology of the caudate and putamen in patients with cocaine dependence.Am J Psychiatry. 2001; 158: 486-489
- Quantitative medial temporal lobe brain morphology and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis function in cocaine dependence.Drug Alcohol Depend. 2001; 62: 49-56
- Characterization of white matter damage in ischemic leukoaraiosis with diffusion tensor MRI.Stroke. 1999; 30: 393-397
- Cocaine-induced cerebral vasoconstriction detected in humans with magnetic resonance angiography.JAMA. 1998; 279: 376-380
- Myelination and organization of the frontal white matter in children.Neuroreport. 1999; 10: 2817-2821
- Gender differences in cocaine use and treatment response.J Subst Abuse Treat. 1993; 10: 63-66
- Learning impairment and microtubule-associated protein 2 decrease in gerbils under chronic cerebral hypoperfusion.Stroke. 1990; 21: 1205-1209
- White matter changes in the gerbil brain under chronic cerebral hypoperfusion.Stroke. 1998; 29: 1058-1062
- Brain atrophy and chronic cocaine abuse.NIDA Res Monogr. 1996; 163: 27-42
- Gender differences in cerebral perfusion in cocaine abuse.J Nucl Med. 1994; 35: 1902-1909
- Compromised white matter tract integrity in schizophrenia inferred from diffusion tensor imaging.Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1999; 56: 367-374
- Smaller volume of prefrontal lobe in polysubstance abusers.Neuropsychopharmacology. 1998; 18: 243-252
- Orbitofrontal cortex and human drug abuse.Cereb Cortex. 2000; 10: 334-342
- Cortical metabolite alterations in abstinent cocaine and cocaine/alcohol-dependent subject.Addiction Biol. 1999; 4: 405-419
- Neuropsychological impairment in chronic cocaine abusers.Am J Drug Alcohol Abuse. 1992; 18: 131-144
- The organization of networks within the orbital and medial prefrontal cortex of rats, monkeys and humans.Cereb Cortex. 2000; 10: 206-219
- Cerebral atrophy in habitual cocaine abusers.Neurology. 1991; 41: 34-38
- Age-related decline in brain white matter anisotropy measured with spatially corrected echo-planar diffusion tensor imaging.Magn Reson Med. 2000; 44: 259-268
- White matter abnormalities in HIV-1 infection.Psychiatry Res. 2001; 106: 15-24
- The orbitofrontal cortex and reward.Cereb Cortex. 2000; 10: 284-294
- Loss of connectivity in Alzheimer’s disease.J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 2000; 69: 528-530
- Visualizing and characterizing white matter fiber structure and architecture in the human pyramidal tract using diffusion tensor MRI.Magn Reson Imaging. 1999; 17: 1121-1133
- Addiction, a disease of compulsion and drive.Cereb Cortex. 2000; 10: 318-325
- Long-term frontal brain metabolic changes in cocaine abusers.Synapse. 1992; 11: 184-190
- Cerebral blood flow in chronic cocaine users.Br J Psychiatry. 1988; 152: 641-648
- Radiological and neurological changes in the drug abuse patient.J Neuroradiol. 1988; 15: 288-293
- Gender differences in cocaine dependent patients.Drug Alcohol Depend. 1997; 44: 35-40
- Diffusion tensor imaging of lesions and normal-appearing white matter in multiple sclerosis.Neurology. 1999; 52: 1626-1632
Accepted: November 16, 2001
Received in revised form: November 5, 2001
Received: July 31, 2001
© 2002 Society of Biological Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.