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Longitudinal changes in cocaine intake and cognition are linked to cortical thickness adaptations in cocaine users


Hirsiger, Sarah; Hänggi, Jürgen; Germann, Jürgen; Vonmoos, Matthias; Preller, Katrin H; Engeli, Etna JE; Kirschner, Matthias; Reinhard, Caroline; Hulka, Lea M; Baumgartner, Markus R; Chakravarty, Mallar M; Seifritz, Erich; Herdener, Marcus; Quednow, Boris B (2019). Longitudinal changes in cocaine intake and cognition are linked to cortical thickness adaptations in cocaine users. NeuroImage: Clinical, 21:101652.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:
Cocaine use has been consistently associated with decreased gray matter volumes in the prefrontal cortex. However, it is unclear if such neuroanatomical abnormalities depict either pre-existing vulnerability markers or drug-induced consequences. Thus, this longitudinal MRI study investigated neuroplasticity and cognitive changes in relation to altered cocaine intake.

METHODS:
Surface-based morphometry, cocaine hair concentration, and cognitive performance were measured in 29 cocaine users (CU) and 38 matched controls at baseline and follow-up. Based on changes in hair cocaine concentration, CU were classified either as Decreasers (n = 15) or Sustained Users (n = 14). Surface-based morphometry measures did not include regional tissue volumes.

RESULTS:
At baseline, CU displayed reduced cortical thickness (CT) in lateral frontal regions, and smaller cortical surface area (CSA) in the anterior cingulate cortex, compared to controls. In Decreasers, CT of the lateral frontal cortex increased whereas CT within the same regions tended to further decrease in Sustained Users. In contrast, no changes were found for CSA and subcortical structures. Changes in CT were linked to cognitive performance changes and amount of cocaine consumed over the study period.

CONCLUSIONS:
These results suggest that frontal abnormalities in CU are partially drug-induced and can recover with decreased substance use. Moreover, recovery of frontal CT is accompanied by improved cognitive performance confirming that cognitive decline associated with cocaine use is potentially reversible.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:
Cocaine use has been consistently associated with decreased gray matter volumes in the prefrontal cortex. However, it is unclear if such neuroanatomical abnormalities depict either pre-existing vulnerability markers or drug-induced consequences. Thus, this longitudinal MRI study investigated neuroplasticity and cognitive changes in relation to altered cocaine intake.

METHODS:
Surface-based morphometry, cocaine hair concentration, and cognitive performance were measured in 29 cocaine users (CU) and 38 matched controls at baseline and follow-up. Based on changes in hair cocaine concentration, CU were classified either as Decreasers (n = 15) or Sustained Users (n = 14). Surface-based morphometry measures did not include regional tissue volumes.

RESULTS:
At baseline, CU displayed reduced cortical thickness (CT) in lateral frontal regions, and smaller cortical surface area (CSA) in the anterior cingulate cortex, compared to controls. In Decreasers, CT of the lateral frontal cortex increased whereas CT within the same regions tended to further decrease in Sustained Users. In contrast, no changes were found for CSA and subcortical structures. Changes in CT were linked to cognitive performance changes and amount of cocaine consumed over the study period.

CONCLUSIONS:
These results suggest that frontal abnormalities in CU are partially drug-induced and can recover with decreased substance use. Moreover, recovery of frontal CT is accompanied by improved cognitive performance confirming that cognitive decline associated with cocaine use is potentially reversible.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Psychiatric University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Psychiatry, Psychotherapy, and Psychosomatics
04 Faculty of Medicine > Neuroscience Center Zurich
06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Legal Medicine
Dewey Decimal Classification:340 Law
610 Medicine & health
Uncontrolled Keywords:Cognitive Neuroscience, Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging, Neurology, Clinical Neurology
Language:English
Date:1 January 2019
Deposited On:18 Feb 2019 12:46
Last Modified:01 Apr 2019 10:59
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:2213-1582
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nicl.2019.101652
Official URL:https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2213158219300026?via%3Dihub
PubMed ID:30639181
Project Information:
  • : FunderFP7
  • : Grant ID218264
  • : Project TitleDEMASST - Security of critical infrastructures related to mass transportation

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