Effects of recreational GHB use and multiple GHB-induced comas on brain structure and impulsivity
Number of pages
SourceFrontiers in Psychiatry, 11, (2020), article 166
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ BSI KLP
Frontiers in Psychiatry
SubjectExperimental Psychopathology and Treatment; Radboudumc 13: Stress-related disorders DCMN: Donders Center for Medical Neuroscience
Background and Aims: The regular use of gamma-hydroxybutyrate acid (GHB) can induce GHB-induced comas. Other substance use disorders are associated with alterations in brain structure and impulsivity. Here we aim to investigate if these are also modulated by either regular GHB use or GHB-induced comas. Methods: In a sample of human males, structural and diffusion neuroimaging data were collected for 27 GHB users with >/=4 GHB-induced comas (GHB-Coma), 27 GHB users without GHB-induced comas (GHB-NoComa), and 27 polydrug users who never used GHB (No-GHB). The structural brain parameters were analyzed macroscopically using voxel-based morphometry and microscopically using tract-based spatial statistics (TBSS) and tractography. Impulsivity was assessed with the Barrat Impulsivity Scale. Results: In comparison to the other two groups, the GHB-Coma group showed a higher fractional anisotropy in the body of the corpus callosum and a lower mean diffusivity in the forceps minor (i.e., whole-brain TBSS analysis). No macrostructural differences nor microstructural differences, as assessed with tractography, were observed. The GHB-Coma group also reported higher impulsivity, which was more strongly associated with white matter volume and fractional anisotropy in tracts involved in impulse control (post-hoc analysis). GHB use per se was associated neither with differences in brain structure nor with impulsivity. Conclusions: The results suggest that multiple GHB-induced comas, but not GHB use per se, are associated with microstructural alterations in white matter and with higher self-reported impulsivity, which in turn was associated with white matter tracts involved in impulse control.
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