The role of the orbitofrontal cortex and the nucleus accumbens for craving in alcohol use disorder.

Bracht, Tobias; Soravia, Leila; Moggi, Franz; Stein, Maria; Grieder, Matthias; Federspiel, Andrea; Tschümperlin, Raphaela; Batschelet, Hallie M; Wiest, Roland; Denier, Niklaus (2021). The role of the orbitofrontal cortex and the nucleus accumbens for craving in alcohol use disorder. Translational Psychiatry, 11(1), p. 267. Springer Nature 10.1038/s41398-021-01384-w

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This study aimed to investigate structural and functional alterations of the reward system and the neurobiology of craving in alcohol use disorder (AUD). We hypothesized reduced volume of the nucleus accumbens (NAcc), reduced structural connectivity of the segment of the supero-lateral medial forebrain bundle connecting the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) with the NAcc (OFC-NAcc), and reduced resting-state OFC-NAcc functional connectivity (FC). Furthermore, we hypothesized that craving is related to an increase of OFC-NAcc FC. Thirty-nine recently abstinent patients with AUD and 18 healthy controls (HC) underwent structural (T1w-MP2RAGE, diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI)) and functional (resting-state fMRI) MRI-scans. Gray matter volume of the NAcc, white matter microstructure (fractional anisotropy (FA)) and macrostructure (tract length) of the OFC-NAcc connection and OFC-NAcc FC were compared between AUD and HC using a mixed model MANCOVA controlling for age and gender. Craving was assessed using the thoughts subscale of the obsessive-compulsive drinking scale (OCDS) scale and was correlated with OFC-NAcc FC. There was a significant main effect of group. Results were driven by a volume reduction of bilateral NAcc, reduced FA in the left hemisphere, and reduced tract length of bilateral OFC-NAcc connections in AUD patients. OFC-NAcc FC did not differ between groups. Craving was associated with increased bilateral OFC-NAcc FC. In conclusion, reduced volume of the NAcc and reduced FA and tract length of the OFC-NAcc network suggest structural alterations of the reward network in AUD. Increased OFC-NAcc FC is associated with craving in AUD, and may contribute to situational alcohol-seeking behavior in AUD.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

04 Faculty of Medicine > University Psychiatric Services > University Hospital of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy > Translational Research Center
07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy
04 Faculty of Medicine > University Psychiatric Services > University Hospital of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy
04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Radiology, Neuroradiology and Nuclear Medicine (DRNN) > Institute of Diagnostic and Interventional Neuroradiology

UniBE Contributor:

Bracht, Tobias; Soravia, Leila; Moggi, Franz; Stein, Maria; Grieder, Matthias; Federspiel, Andrea; Tschümperlin, Raphaela Martina; Batschelet, Hallie Margareta; Wiest, Roland and Denier, Niklaus

Subjects:

600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology

ISSN:

2158-3188

Publisher:

Springer Nature

Language:

English

Submitter:

Martin Zbinden

Date Deposited:

06 Jul 2021 16:04

Last Modified:

11 Jul 2021 03:12

Publisher DOI:

10.1038/s41398-021-01384-w

PubMed ID:

33947835

BORIS DOI:

10.48350/157289

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/157289

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