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Advances in Human Neuroconnectivity Research: Applications for Understanding Familial History Risk for Alcoholism.

Cservenka A, Alarcón G, Jones SA, Nagel BJ - Alcohol Res (2015)

Bottom Line: Recent advances in brain imaging have allowed researchers to further study the networks connecting brain regions.Specifically, research examining the functioning of these networks in groups with a genetic predisposition for alcoholism has found atypical circuitry in the brains of such individuals.Further research with larger sample sizes and multimodal method integration are necessary to confirm these intriguing findings.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, Oregon.

ABSTRACT
Recent advances in brain imaging have allowed researchers to further study the networks connecting brain regions. Specifically, research examining the functioning of these networks in groups with a genetic predisposition for alcoholism has found atypical circuitry in the brains of such individuals. Further research with larger sample sizes and multimodal method integration are necessary to confirm these intriguing findings.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

FHP youth have significant differences in right amygdalar resting state functional connectivity patterns compared with FHN youth in frontal and cerebellar regions. This indicates atypical connectivity with executive functioning brain regions in at-risk adolescents compared with controls. RMFG = right middle frontal gyrus; RCER = right cerebellum.SOURCE: Cservenka et al. 2014b.
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f1-arcr-37-1-89: FHP youth have significant differences in right amygdalar resting state functional connectivity patterns compared with FHN youth in frontal and cerebellar regions. This indicates atypical connectivity with executive functioning brain regions in at-risk adolescents compared with controls. RMFG = right middle frontal gyrus; RCER = right cerebellum.SOURCE: Cservenka et al. 2014b.

Mentions: Although more research on familial risk for alcoholism and brain connectivity has focused on functional connections present across task-related BOLD response, recent investigations have examined the intrinsic functional connectivity of brain regions in FHP youth (see figure), specifically using seed-based resting-state connectivity methods. Brain regions and networks that play important roles in reward and emotional processing (e.g., the NAcc and amygdala) often have been the focus of alcoholism research, as task-based neuroimaging studies suggest aberrant brain activity in these areas (Marinkovic et al. 2009; Wrase et al. 2007). Using anatomically defined ROIs of the NAcc on a subject-specific basis, Cservenka and colleagues (2014a) found significant differences in the synchrony of both left and right NAcc with other regions of the brain in FHP youth compared with their peers. Specifically, differences were most pronounced in connectivity of the ventral striatum with regions of the frontal lobe. FHP youth had less negative connectivity (or less segregation) between the NAcc and cognitive control regions of the frontal cortex, including bilateral inferior frontal gyri, than their peers. The authors suggested that because reward and executive functioning networks are not as distinctly segregated in FHP youth, this may lead to miscommunication between these regions. Furthermore, this study found that FHP youth had disrupted integration between the NAcc and orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), whereas these regions showed positive connectivity in FHN youth. The authors suggested that reward-related brain areas may be more weakly integrated in FHP youth, which may result in a dissociation between reward response in the brain (mediated by NAcc) and determining the value of rewards (mediated by OFC). Again, it is important to note that alterations in resting state synchrony between the NAcc and OFC may be related to underlying volumetric differences in these regions in FHP individuals. Disruptions in OFC laterality have been previously reported in at-risk youth/young adults (Hill et al. 2009). Associations between functional connectivity and relationships with brain structure require further study.


Advances in Human Neuroconnectivity Research: Applications for Understanding Familial History Risk for Alcoholism.

Cservenka A, Alarcón G, Jones SA, Nagel BJ - Alcohol Res (2015)

FHP youth have significant differences in right amygdalar resting state functional connectivity patterns compared with FHN youth in frontal and cerebellar regions. This indicates atypical connectivity with executive functioning brain regions in at-risk adolescents compared with controls. RMFG = right middle frontal gyrus; RCER = right cerebellum.SOURCE: Cservenka et al. 2014b.
© Copyright Policy - public-domain
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4476606&req=5

f1-arcr-37-1-89: FHP youth have significant differences in right amygdalar resting state functional connectivity patterns compared with FHN youth in frontal and cerebellar regions. This indicates atypical connectivity with executive functioning brain regions in at-risk adolescents compared with controls. RMFG = right middle frontal gyrus; RCER = right cerebellum.SOURCE: Cservenka et al. 2014b.
Mentions: Although more research on familial risk for alcoholism and brain connectivity has focused on functional connections present across task-related BOLD response, recent investigations have examined the intrinsic functional connectivity of brain regions in FHP youth (see figure), specifically using seed-based resting-state connectivity methods. Brain regions and networks that play important roles in reward and emotional processing (e.g., the NAcc and amygdala) often have been the focus of alcoholism research, as task-based neuroimaging studies suggest aberrant brain activity in these areas (Marinkovic et al. 2009; Wrase et al. 2007). Using anatomically defined ROIs of the NAcc on a subject-specific basis, Cservenka and colleagues (2014a) found significant differences in the synchrony of both left and right NAcc with other regions of the brain in FHP youth compared with their peers. Specifically, differences were most pronounced in connectivity of the ventral striatum with regions of the frontal lobe. FHP youth had less negative connectivity (or less segregation) between the NAcc and cognitive control regions of the frontal cortex, including bilateral inferior frontal gyri, than their peers. The authors suggested that because reward and executive functioning networks are not as distinctly segregated in FHP youth, this may lead to miscommunication between these regions. Furthermore, this study found that FHP youth had disrupted integration between the NAcc and orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), whereas these regions showed positive connectivity in FHN youth. The authors suggested that reward-related brain areas may be more weakly integrated in FHP youth, which may result in a dissociation between reward response in the brain (mediated by NAcc) and determining the value of rewards (mediated by OFC). Again, it is important to note that alterations in resting state synchrony between the NAcc and OFC may be related to underlying volumetric differences in these regions in FHP individuals. Disruptions in OFC laterality have been previously reported in at-risk youth/young adults (Hill et al. 2009). Associations between functional connectivity and relationships with brain structure require further study.

Bottom Line: Recent advances in brain imaging have allowed researchers to further study the networks connecting brain regions.Specifically, research examining the functioning of these networks in groups with a genetic predisposition for alcoholism has found atypical circuitry in the brains of such individuals.Further research with larger sample sizes and multimodal method integration are necessary to confirm these intriguing findings.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, Oregon.

ABSTRACT
Recent advances in brain imaging have allowed researchers to further study the networks connecting brain regions. Specifically, research examining the functioning of these networks in groups with a genetic predisposition for alcoholism has found atypical circuitry in the brains of such individuals. Further research with larger sample sizes and multimodal method integration are necessary to confirm these intriguing findings.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus