Psychiatry Investig.  2017 May;14(3):325-332. 10.4306/pi.2017.14.3.325.

Disrupted Control Network Connectivity in Abstinent Patients with Alcohol Dependence

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Chungbuk National University College of Medicine, Cheongju, Republic of Korea. poshong@chungbuk.ac.kr
  • 2Department of Psychiatry, Yemidam Hospital, Cheongju, Republic of Korea.
  • 3Department of Psychiatry, Yesarang Mental Hospital, Cheongju, Republic of Korea.

Abstract


OBJECTIVE
Alcohol causes damage to the brain and is associated with various functional impairments. However, much of the brain damage can be reversed by abstaining for enough time. This study aims to investigate the patterns and degrees of brain function in abstinent patients with alcohol dependence by using resting-state functional connectivity.
METHODS
26 male patients with alcohol dependence (alcohol group) and 28 age-matched male healthy volunteers (control group) were recruited from a mental hospital and the community, respectively. Using 3T MRI scan data, the resting-state functional connectivity of the task-negative and task-positive networks was determined and compared between the groups.
RESULTS
There were no significant group differences in the resting-state functional connectivity in the default mode or in the salience and sensorimotor networks. Compared with the control group, the alcohol group showed significantly lower functional connectivity in the executive control network, especially in the cingulo-opercular network and, in some regions of interest, the dorsal attention network.
CONCLUSION
This finding suggests that some brain networks do not normalize their functions after abstinence from drinking, and these results may be helpful in future research to investigate the mechanisms for craving alcohol and alcohol relapse prevention.

Keyword

Alcohol dependence; Functional magnetic resonance imaging; Resting state functional connectivity; Cognitive control network
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