Introduction to the special issue: Substance use and the adolescent brain: Developmental impacts, interventions, and longitudinal outcomes

Monica Luciana, Sarah Feldstein Ewing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Adolescent substance abuse is a major public health problem, particularly given the negative brain and behavioral consequences that often occur during and following acute intoxication. Negative outcomes appear to be especially pronounced when substance use is initiated in the early adolescent years, perhaps due to neural adaptations that increase risk for substance use disorders into adulthood. Recent models to explain these epidemiological trends have focused on brain-based vulnerabilities to use as well as neurodevelopmental aberrations associated with initiation of use in substance naïve samples or through the description of case-control differences between heavy users and controls. Within this research, adolescent alcohol and marijuana users have shown relative decreases in regional gray matter volumes, substance-specific alterations in white matter volumes, deviations in microstructural integrity in white matter tracts that regulate communication between subcortical areas and higher level regulatory control regions, and deficits in functional connectivity. How these brain anomalies map onto other types of youth risk behavior and later vulnerabilities represent major questions for continued research. This special issue addresses these compelling and timely questions by introducing new methodologies, empirical relationships, and perspectives from major leaders in this field.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalDevelopmental Cognitive Neuroscience
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2015

Fingerprint

Brain
Substance-Related Disorders
Nucleic Acid Regulatory Sequences
Cannabis
Risk-Taking
Research
Public Health
Communication
Alcohols
White Matter
Gray Matter

Keywords

  • Adolescent
  • Neuroimaging
  • Substance use, MRI

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience

Cite this

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abstract = "Adolescent substance abuse is a major public health problem, particularly given the negative brain and behavioral consequences that often occur during and following acute intoxication. Negative outcomes appear to be especially pronounced when substance use is initiated in the early adolescent years, perhaps due to neural adaptations that increase risk for substance use disorders into adulthood. Recent models to explain these epidemiological trends have focused on brain-based vulnerabilities to use as well as neurodevelopmental aberrations associated with initiation of use in substance na{\"i}ve samples or through the description of case-control differences between heavy users and controls. Within this research, adolescent alcohol and marijuana users have shown relative decreases in regional gray matter volumes, substance-specific alterations in white matter volumes, deviations in microstructural integrity in white matter tracts that regulate communication between subcortical areas and higher level regulatory control regions, and deficits in functional connectivity. How these brain anomalies map onto other types of youth risk behavior and later vulnerabilities represent major questions for continued research. This special issue addresses these compelling and timely questions by introducing new methodologies, empirical relationships, and perspectives from major leaders in this field.",
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