Gray matter deficits and resting-state abnormalities in abstinent heroin-dependent individuals

Kai Yuan, Wei Qin, Minghao Dong, Jixin Liu, Jinbo Sun, Peng Liu, Yi Zhang, Wei Wang, Yarong Wang, Qiang Li, Liyan Zhao, Karen M von Deneen, Yijun Liu, Mark S Gold, Jie Tian
Neuroscience Letters 2010 September 27, 482 (2): 101-5
Previous neuroimaging studies have demonstrated both structural and functional damages in heroin-dependent individuals. However, few studies investigated gray matter deficits and abnormal resting-state networks together in heroin-dependent individuals. In the present study, voxel-based morphometry (VBM) was used to identify brain regions with gray matter density reduction. Resting-state fMRI connectivity analysis was employed to assess potential functional abnormalities during resting-state. All clinical significances were investigated by examining their association with duration of heroin use. Compared with healthy subjects, heroin-dependent individuals showed significant reduction in gray matter density in the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and a decrease in resting-state functional connectivity between the right DLPFC and left inferior parietal lobe (IPL). The gray matter density of the right DLPFC and its resting-state functional connectivity with the left IPL both showed significantly negative correlation with duration of heroin use, which were likely to be related to the functional impairments in decision-making and cognitive control exhibited by heroin-dependent individuals. Our findings demonstrated that long heroin dependence impairs the right DLPFC in heroin-dependent individuals, including structural deficits and resting-state functional impairments.

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