Methamphetamine dependence with and without psychotic symptoms : a multi-modal brain imaging study

Vuletica, Daniella ; Dupontc, Patrick ; Robertsond, Frances ; Warwick, James M. ; Zeevaartc, Jan Rijn ; Steina, Dan J. (2018)

CITATION: Vuletica, D., et al. 2018. Methamphetamine dependence with and without psychotic symptoms : a multi-modal brain imaging study. NeuroImage: Clinical, 20:1157-1162, doi:10.1016/j.nicl.2018.10.023.

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Objective: Methamphetamine dependence can lead to psychotic symptoms which may be mediated by frontal, striatal, limbic, and thalamic regions. There are few neuroimaging data that allow comparison of individuals with methamphetamine dependence who do, and do not, have psychosis. Two complementary imaging techniques were employed to investigate neurocircuitry associated with methamphetamine dependence with and without psychotic symptoms. Methods: Three groups of participants were recruited: methamphetamine dependent (MAA) (N=11), methamphetamine dependent with psychotic symptoms (MAP) (N=14), and controls (N=14). Resting brain glucose metabolism was measured using [18F]fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) positron emission tomography (PET) and cerebral perfusion was assessed using arterial spin labelling (ASL) magnetic resonance imaging. Results: Methamphetamine abusers (MAA and MAP groups) had decreased glucose metabolism compared to healthy controls in the left insula, left precentral gyrus, and the anterior cingulate cortex. Compared to MAA participants, MAP participants had 1) decreased glucose metabolism in the left precentral gyrus and the left inferior frontal gyrus and 2) increased glucose metabolism in the putamen and pallidum. MAP participants also had increased cerebral perfusion in the right putamen and right pallidum compared to MAA. Conclusion: Findings support the involvement of frontal, striatal, and limbic regions in methamphetamine dependence. Furthermore, they indicate that glucose metabolism and cerebral perfusion in these regions are disrupted in methamphetamine dependent individuals with psychotic symptoms.

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