Decreased Functional Brain Connectivity in Adolescents With Internet Addiction.

Decreased functional brain connectivity in adolescents with internet addiction.

PLoS One. 2013; 8(2): e57831
Hong SB, Zalesky A, Cocchi L, Fornito A, Choi EJ, Kim HH, Suh JE, Kim CD, Kim JW, Yi SH

Internet addiction has become increasingly recognized as a mental disorder, though its neurobiological basis is unknown. This study used functional neuroimaging to investigate whole-brain functional connectivity in adolescents diagnosed with internet addiction. Based on neurobiological changes seen in other addiction related disorders, it was predicted that connectivity disruptions in adolescents with internet addiction would be most prominent in cortico-striatal circuitry.Participants were 12 adolescents diagnosed with internet addiction and 11 healthy comparison subjects. Resting-state functional magnetic resonance images were acquired, and group differences in brain functional connectivity were analyzed using the network-based statistic. We also analyzed network topology, testing for between-group differences in key graph-based network measures.Adolescents with internet addiction showed reduced functional connectivity spanning a distributed network. The majority of impaired connections involved cortico-subcortical circuits (?24% with prefrontal and ?27% with parietal cortex). Bilateral putamen was the most extensively involved subcortical brain region. No between-group difference was observed in network topological measures, including the clustering coefficient, characteristic path length, or the small-worldness ratio.Internet addiction is associated with a widespread and significant decrease of functional connectivity in cortico-striatal circuits, in the absence of global changes in brain functional network topology. HubMed – addiction


Ventral striatal dopamine synthesis capacity predicts financial extravagance in Parkinson’s disease.

Front Psychol. 2013; 4: 90
Lawrence AD, Brooks DJ, Whone AL

Impulse control disorders (ICDs), including disordered gambling, can occur in a significant number of patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD) receiving dopaminergic therapy. The neurobiology underlying susceptibility to such problems is unclear, but risk likely results from an interaction between dopaminergic medication and a pre-existing trait vulnerability. Impulse control and addictive disorders form part of a broader psychopathological spectrum of disorders, which share a common underlying genetic vulnerability, referred to as externalizing. The broad externalizing risk factor is a continuously varying trait reflecting vulnerability to various impulse control problems, manifested at the overt level by disinhibitory symptoms and at the personality level by antecedent traits such as impulsivity and novelty/sensation seeking. Trait “disinhibition” is thus a core endophenotype of ICDs, and a key target for neurobiological investigation. The ventral striatal dopamine system has been hypothesized to underlie individual variation in behavioral disinhibition. Here, we examined whether individual differences in ventral striatal dopamine synthesis capacity predicted individual variation in disinhibitory temperament traits in individuals with PD. Eighteen early-stage male PD patients underwent 6-[F]Fluoro-l-DOPA (FDOPA) positron emission tomography scanning to measure striatal dopamine synthesis capacity, and completed a measure of disinhibited personality. Consistent with our predictions, we found that levels of ventral, but not dorsal, striatal dopamine synthesis capacity predicted disinhibited personality, particularly a propensity for financial extravagance. Our results are consistent with recent preclinical models of vulnerability to behavioral disinhibition and addiction proneness, and provide novel insights into the neurobiology of potential vulnerability to impulse control problems in PD and other disorders. HubMed – addiction


Interventions for smoking cessation and reduction in individuals with schizophrenia.

Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2013; 2: CD007253
Tsoi DT, Porwal M, Webster AC

Individuals with schizophrenia smoke more heavily than the general population and this contributes to their higher morbidity and mortality from smoking-related illnesses. It remains unclear what interventions can help them to quit or to reduce smoking.To evaluate the benefits and harms of different treatments for nicotine dependence in schizophrenia.We searched electronic databases including MEDLINE, EMBASE and PsycINFO from inception to October 2012, and the Cochrane Tobacco Addiction Group Specialized Register in November 2012.We included randomised trials for smoking cessation or reduction, comparing any pharmacological or non-pharmacological intervention with placebo or with another therapeutic control in adult smokers with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder.Two reviewers independently assessed the eligibility and quality of trials, as well as extracted data. Outcome measures included smoking abstinence, reduction in the amount smoked and any change in mental state. We extracted abstinence and reduction data at the end of treatment and at least six months after the intervention. We used the most rigorous definition of abstinence or reduction and biochemically validated data where available. We noted any reported adverse events. Where appropriate, we pooled data using a random-effects model.We included 34 trials (16 trials of cessation; nine trials of reduction; one trial of relapse prevention; eight trials that reported smoking outcomes for interventions aimed at other purposes). Seven trials compared bupropion with placebo; meta-analysis showed that cessation rates after bupropion were significantly higher than placebo at the end of treatment (seven trials, N = 340; risk ratio [RR] 3.03; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.69 to 5.42) and after six months (five trials, N = 214, RR 2.78; 95% CI 1.02 to 7.58). There were no significant differences in positive, negative and depressive symptoms between bupropion and placebo groups. There were no reports of major adverse events such as seizures with bupropion.Smoking cessation rates after varenicline were significantly higher than placebo, at the end of treatment (2 trials, N = 137; RR 4.74, 95% CI 1.34 to 16.71). Only one trial reported follow-up at six months and the CIs were too wide to provide evidence of a sustained effect (one trial, N = 128, RR 5.06, 95% CI 0.67 to 38.24). There were no significant differences in psychiatric symptoms between the varenicline and placebo groups. Nevertheless, there were reports of suicidal ideation and behaviours from two people on varenicline.Two studies reported that contingent reinforcement (CR) with money may increase smoking abstinence rates and reduce the level of smoking in patients with schizophrenia. However, it is uncertain whether these benefits can be maintained in the longer term. There was no evidence of benefit for the few trials of other pharmacological therapies (including nicotine replacement therapy (NRT)) and psychosocial interventions in helping smokers with schizophrenia to quit or reduce smoking.Bupropion increases smoking abstinence rates in smokers with schizophrenia, without jeopardizing their mental state. Varenicline may also improve smoking cessation rates in schizophrenia, but its possible psychiatric adverse effects cannot be ruled out. CR may help this group of patients to quit and reduce smoking in the short term. We failed to find convincing evidence that other interventions have a beneficial effect on smoking in schizophrenia. HubMed – addiction