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Substance use disorders are characterised by increased voxel-wise intrinsic measures in sensorimotor cortices: An ALE meta-analysis.

Substance use disorders (SUDs) are severe psychiatric illnesses. Seed region and independent component analyses are currently the dominant connectivity measures but carry the risk of false negatives due to selection. They can be complemented by a data-driven and whole-brain usage of voxel-wise intrinsic measures (VIMs). We meta-analytically integrated VIMs, namely regional homogeneity (ReHo), amplitude of low-frequency fluctuations (ALFF), voxel-mirrored homotopy connectivity (VMHC) and degree centrality (DC) across different SUDs using the Activation Likelihood Estimation (ALE) algorithm, functionally decoded emerging clusters, and analysed their connectivity profiles. Our systematic search identified 51 studies including 1439 SUD participants. Although no overall convergent pattern of alterations across VIMs in SUDs was found, sensitivity analyses demonstrated two ALE-derived clusters of increased ReHo and ALFF in SUDs, which peaked in the left pre- and postcentral cortices. Subsequent analyses showed their involvement in action execution, somesthesis, finger tapping and vibrotactile monitoring/discrimination. Their numerous clinical correlates across included studies highlight the under-discussed role of sensorimotor cortices in SUD, urging a more attentive exploration of their clinical significance.

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