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Frequency-Specific Abnormalities Of Functional Homotopy In Alcohol Dependence: A Resting-State Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging Study

Authors Guo L, Zhou F, Zhang N, Kuang H, Feng Z

Received 27 June 2019

Accepted for publication 28 October 2019

Published 19 November 2019 Volume 2019:15 Pages 3231—3245


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Yuping Ning

Linghong Guo,1 Fuqing Zhou,1 Ning Zhang,1 Hongmei Kuang,1 Zhen Feng2

1Department of Radiology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Nanchang University, Nanchang, Jiangxi Province, People’s Republic of China; 2Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, The First Affiliated Hospital of Nanchang University, Nanchang, Jiangxi Province, People’s Republic of China

Correspondence: Zhen Feng
Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, The First Affiliated Hospital of Nanchang University, Number 17, Yongwaizheng Street, Donghu District, Nanchang 330006, Jiangxi Province, People’s Republic of China
Tel/Fax +86-791-88698601

Purpose: Alcohol dependence (AD) is a relapsing mental disorder, typically occurring with concurrent tobacco misuse. Studies have reported disruption of the structural connectivity between hemispheres in the brain of individuals with AD. However, alterations in interhemispheric interactions and the specificity of frequency bands in individuals with AD remain unknown. Voxel-mirrored homotopic connectivity (VMHC) allows examination of functional interactions between mirrored interhemispheric voxels. Here, we use VMHC to investigate homotopic connectivity in AD and alcohol and nicotine co-dependence (AND) subjects.
Patients and methods: VMHC and seed-based functional connectivity (FC) in 24 AD, 30 AND, and 35 sex-, age-, and education-matched healthy control (HC) subjects were calculated for different frequency bands (slow-5, slow-4, and typical bands).
Results: Individuals with AD demonstrated significantly reduced VMHC in bilateral cerebellum posterior lobe (CPL) and increased VMHC in bilateral middle frontal gyrus (MFG) compared to that in HCs in the typical and slow-4 bands; higher VMHC in the MFG was positively correlated with the dependence-severity score. In all bands of the VMHC analysis, no significant differences were found between the AND and other groups. Subsequent seed-based FC analysis demonstrated all regions with abnormal VMHC exhibited altered FC with its counterpart in the contralateral hemisphere in the typical and slow-4 frequency bands. The FC value between bilateral CPL within AD subjects negatively correlated with alcohol intake.
Conclusion: Our findings provide further evidence of the role of disruptions within the brain circuitry supporting cognitive control in the development of AD. Alterations in neural activities in the CPL and MFG might be a biomarker of dependence severity in AD patients as assessed using clinical questionnaire and features. Because of the frequency specificity in VMHC, we must consider frequency effects in future AD functional magnetic resonance imaging studies.

Keywords: alcohol, dependence, homotopic connectivity, frequency band, resting-state fMRI

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