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Adolescent binge drinking linked to abnormal spatial working memory brain activation: differential gender effects.
Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2011 Oct; 35(10):1831-41.AC

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Binge drinking is prevalent during adolescence, and its effect on neurocognitive development is of concern. In adult and adolescent populations, heavy substance use has been associated with decrements in cognitive functioning, particularly on tasks of spatial working memory (SWM). Characterizing the gender-specific influences of heavy episodic drinking on SWM may help elucidate the early functional consequences of drinking on adolescent brain functioning.

METHODS

Forty binge drinkers (13 females, 27 males) and 55 controls (24 females, 31 males), aged 16 to 19 years, completed neuropsychological testing, substance use interviews, and an SWM task during functional magnetic resonance imaging.

RESULTS

Significant binge drinking status × gender interactions were found (p < 0.05) in 8 brain regions spanning bilateral frontal, anterior cingulate, temporal, and cerebellar cortices. In all regions, female binge drinkers showed less SWM activation than female controls, while male bingers exhibited greater SWM response than male controls. For female binge drinkers, less activation was associated with poorer sustained attention and working memory performances (p < 0.025). For male binge drinkers, greater activation was linked to better spatial performance (p < 0.025).

CONCLUSION

Binge drinking during adolescence is associated with gender-specific differences in frontal, temporal, and cerebellar brain activation during an SWM task, which in turn relate to cognitive performance. Activation correlates with neuropsychological performance, strengthening the argument that blood oxygen level-dependent activation is affected by alcohol use and is an important indicator of behavioral functioning. Females may be more vulnerable to the neurotoxic effects of heavy alcohol use during adolescence, while males may be more resilient to the deleterious effects of binge drinking. Future longitudinal research will examine the significance of SWM brain activation as an early neurocognitive marker of alcohol impact to the brain on future behaviors, such as driving safety, academic performance, and neuropsychological performance.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Joint Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology, San Diego State University/University of California San Diego, San Diego, California, USA.No affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

Language

eng

PubMed ID

21762178

Citation

Squeglia, Lindsay M., et al. "Adolescent Binge Drinking Linked to Abnormal Spatial Working Memory Brain Activation: Differential Gender Effects." Alcoholism, Clinical and Experimental Research, vol. 35, no. 10, 2011, pp. 1831-41.
Squeglia LM, Schweinsburg AD, Pulido C, et al. Adolescent binge drinking linked to abnormal spatial working memory brain activation: differential gender effects. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2011;35(10):1831-41.
Squeglia, L. M., Schweinsburg, A. D., Pulido, C., & Tapert, S. F. (2011). Adolescent binge drinking linked to abnormal spatial working memory brain activation: differential gender effects. Alcoholism, Clinical and Experimental Research, 35(10), 1831-41. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1530-0277.2011.01527.x
Squeglia LM, et al. Adolescent Binge Drinking Linked to Abnormal Spatial Working Memory Brain Activation: Differential Gender Effects. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2011;35(10):1831-41. PubMed PMID: 21762178.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Adolescent binge drinking linked to abnormal spatial working memory brain activation: differential gender effects. AU - Squeglia,Lindsay M, AU - Schweinsburg,Alecia Dager, AU - Pulido,Carmen, AU - Tapert,Susan F, Y1 - 2011/07/18/ PY - 2011/7/19/entrez PY - 2011/7/19/pubmed PY - 2012/3/21/medline SP - 1831 EP - 41 JF - Alcoholism, clinical and experimental research JO - Alcohol Clin Exp Res VL - 35 IS - 10 N2 - BACKGROUND: Binge drinking is prevalent during adolescence, and its effect on neurocognitive development is of concern. In adult and adolescent populations, heavy substance use has been associated with decrements in cognitive functioning, particularly on tasks of spatial working memory (SWM). Characterizing the gender-specific influences of heavy episodic drinking on SWM may help elucidate the early functional consequences of drinking on adolescent brain functioning. METHODS: Forty binge drinkers (13 females, 27 males) and 55 controls (24 females, 31 males), aged 16 to 19 years, completed neuropsychological testing, substance use interviews, and an SWM task during functional magnetic resonance imaging. RESULTS: Significant binge drinking status × gender interactions were found (p < 0.05) in 8 brain regions spanning bilateral frontal, anterior cingulate, temporal, and cerebellar cortices. In all regions, female binge drinkers showed less SWM activation than female controls, while male bingers exhibited greater SWM response than male controls. For female binge drinkers, less activation was associated with poorer sustained attention and working memory performances (p < 0.025). For male binge drinkers, greater activation was linked to better spatial performance (p < 0.025). CONCLUSION: Binge drinking during adolescence is associated with gender-specific differences in frontal, temporal, and cerebellar brain activation during an SWM task, which in turn relate to cognitive performance. Activation correlates with neuropsychological performance, strengthening the argument that blood oxygen level-dependent activation is affected by alcohol use and is an important indicator of behavioral functioning. Females may be more vulnerable to the neurotoxic effects of heavy alcohol use during adolescence, while males may be more resilient to the deleterious effects of binge drinking. Future longitudinal research will examine the significance of SWM brain activation as an early neurocognitive marker of alcohol impact to the brain on future behaviors, such as driving safety, academic performance, and neuropsychological performance. SN - 1530-0277 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/21762178/Adolescent_binge_drinking_linked_to_abnormal_spatial_working_memory_brain_activation:_differential_gender_effects_ L2 - https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1530-0277.2011.01527.x DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -