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Brain response to working memory over three years of adolescence: influence of initiating heavy drinking.
J Stud Alcohol Drugs. 2012 Sep; 73(5):749-60.JS

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

Many adolescents engage in heavy alcohol use. The aim of this study was to disentangle whether brain abnormalities seen in adolescent heavy drinkers are a consequence of heavy drinking, a preexisting risk factor for initiation of alcohol use, or both.

METHOD

Study 1 used cross-sectional functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) visual working-memory (VWM) data from 15- to 19-year-olds (20 heavy drinkers, 20 controls) to identify brain regions affected by heavy adolescent alcohol use. Study 2 used longitudinal fMRI VWM data from 12- to 16-year-olds imaged before the onset of drinking and imaged again on the same scanner approximately 3 years later. Those who had transitioned into heavy drinking (n = 20) were matched to continuous nondrinkers (n = 20) on baseline alcohol risk and developmental factors (N = 40; 80 scans).

RESULTS

Study 1 found that heavy drinkers exhibited more frontal and parietal but less occipital activation than controls, defining the regions of interest for Study 2. In Study 2, adolescents who later transitioned into heavy drinking showed less fMRI response contrast at baseline than continuous nondrinkers, which increased after the onset of heavy drinking, in frontal (1,431 μL, p = .003; η² = .19) and parietal (810 μL, p = .005; η²= .23) regions, as in Study 1. Lower baseline activation in the frontal and parietal regions predicted subsequent substance use, more so than commonly observed predictors of youth drinking (p < .05).

CONCLUSIONS

Adolescents who initiated heavy drinking showed different brain activation before the onset of drinking, then less efficient information processing after high-dose alcohol use started. This suggests neural response patterns that could be risk factors for future substance use and also supports prior neuropsychological reports indicating that initiating heavy episodic drinking in adolescence may be followed by subtle alterations in brain functioning.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Department of Psychiatry, University of California San Diego, San Diego, California, USA.No affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

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

Language

eng

PubMed ID

22846239

Citation

Squeglia, Lindsay M., et al. "Brain Response to Working Memory Over Three Years of Adolescence: Influence of Initiating Heavy Drinking." Journal of Studies On Alcohol and Drugs, vol. 73, no. 5, 2012, pp. 749-60.
Squeglia LM, Pulido C, Wetherill RR, et al. Brain response to working memory over three years of adolescence: influence of initiating heavy drinking. J Stud Alcohol Drugs. 2012;73(5):749-60.
Squeglia, L. M., Pulido, C., Wetherill, R. R., Jacobus, J., Brown, G. G., & Tapert, S. F. (2012). Brain response to working memory over three years of adolescence: influence of initiating heavy drinking. Journal of Studies On Alcohol and Drugs, 73(5), 749-60.
Squeglia LM, et al. Brain Response to Working Memory Over Three Years of Adolescence: Influence of Initiating Heavy Drinking. J Stud Alcohol Drugs. 2012;73(5):749-60. PubMed PMID: 22846239.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Brain response to working memory over three years of adolescence: influence of initiating heavy drinking. AU - Squeglia,Lindsay M, AU - Pulido,Carmen, AU - Wetherill,Reagan R, AU - Jacobus,Joanna, AU - Brown,Gregory G, AU - Tapert,Susan F, PY - 2012/8/1/entrez PY - 2012/8/1/pubmed PY - 2013/6/5/medline SP - 749 EP - 60 JF - Journal of studies on alcohol and drugs JO - J Stud Alcohol Drugs VL - 73 IS - 5 N2 - OBJECTIVE: Many adolescents engage in heavy alcohol use. The aim of this study was to disentangle whether brain abnormalities seen in adolescent heavy drinkers are a consequence of heavy drinking, a preexisting risk factor for initiation of alcohol use, or both. METHOD: Study 1 used cross-sectional functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) visual working-memory (VWM) data from 15- to 19-year-olds (20 heavy drinkers, 20 controls) to identify brain regions affected by heavy adolescent alcohol use. Study 2 used longitudinal fMRI VWM data from 12- to 16-year-olds imaged before the onset of drinking and imaged again on the same scanner approximately 3 years later. Those who had transitioned into heavy drinking (n = 20) were matched to continuous nondrinkers (n = 20) on baseline alcohol risk and developmental factors (N = 40; 80 scans). RESULTS: Study 1 found that heavy drinkers exhibited more frontal and parietal but less occipital activation than controls, defining the regions of interest for Study 2. In Study 2, adolescents who later transitioned into heavy drinking showed less fMRI response contrast at baseline than continuous nondrinkers, which increased after the onset of heavy drinking, in frontal (1,431 μL, p = .003; η² = .19) and parietal (810 μL, p = .005; η²= .23) regions, as in Study 1. Lower baseline activation in the frontal and parietal regions predicted subsequent substance use, more so than commonly observed predictors of youth drinking (p < .05). CONCLUSIONS: Adolescents who initiated heavy drinking showed different brain activation before the onset of drinking, then less efficient information processing after high-dose alcohol use started. This suggests neural response patterns that could be risk factors for future substance use and also supports prior neuropsychological reports indicating that initiating heavy episodic drinking in adolescence may be followed by subtle alterations in brain functioning. SN - 1938-4114 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/22846239/Brain_response_to_working_memory_over_three_years_of_adolescence:_influence_of_initiating_heavy_drinking_ L2 - https://www.jsad.com/doi/abs/10.15288/jsad.2012.73.749 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -