Abstract: Differential neural development of structures associated with reward and control systems may underlie risky behavior in adolescence. The nucleus accumbens and orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) have been implicated in substance use behavior, although structural studies have yet to explore specific relationships between nucleus accumbens and OFC volumes and alcohol use in adolescence. High resolution structural MRI scans and assessments of recent alcohol use and lifetime substance use were collected in a sample of 168 juvenile justice-involved adolescents to explore whether gray matter volumes were associated with past 3-month quantity and frequency of alcohol use. Gray matter volumes were not associated with average quantity of alcohol use. Accumbens volume was positively associated with past 3-month frequency of drinking, and OFC volume was negatively associated with drinking frequency. Results may suggest that structural differences in regions related to reward and control processing may contribute to risk behavior in adolescence.
Keywords: adolescence; alcohol use; nucleus accumbens; orbitofrontal cortex; juvenile justice
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Thayer, R.E.; Crotwell, S.M.; Callahan, T.J.; Hutchison, K.E.; Bryan, A.D. Nucleus Accumbens Volume Is Associated with Frequency of Alcohol Use among Juvenile Justice-Involved Adolescents. Brain Sci. 2012, 2, 605-618.
Thayer RE, Crotwell SM, Callahan TJ, Hutchison KE, Bryan AD. Nucleus Accumbens Volume Is Associated with Frequency of Alcohol Use among Juvenile Justice-Involved Adolescents. Brain Sciences. 2012; 2(4):605-618.
Thayer, Rachel E.; Crotwell, Shirley M.; Callahan, Tiffany J.; Hutchison, Kent E.; Bryan, Angela D. 2012. "Nucleus Accumbens Volume Is Associated with Frequency of Alcohol Use among Juvenile Justice-Involved Adolescents." Brain Sci. 2, no. 4: 605-618.