Event Title

Do Ecstasy And Marijuana Use Compromise Brain Structure? Examining Three Frontolimbic White Matter Tracts Using Diffusion Tensor Imaging

Mentor 1

Krista Lisdahl

Location

Union Wisconsin Room

Start Date

28-4-2017 1:30 PM

End Date

28-4-2017 4:00 PM

Description

3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), more commonly called "Ecstasy" or "Molly" is a recreational drug known to produce euphoria, arousal, heightened mood and mild hallucinations in users. Use of MDMA among young people is a rising public health concern; 4.2% of college aged students reported using MDMA in 2015, while 3.6% of high school seniors reported using the drug in that same year (Johnston et al., 2016). Research has suggested that ecstasy use may be correlated with deficits in verbal memory and other neurocognitive processes (Medina et al., 2007; Price & Lisdahl, 2012). Prior examination has found that when compared to controls, ecstasy users showed significantly slower reaction times when tested with selective and divided attention and working memory tasks (Jacobsen et al., 2004 ). Results of an fMRI task assessing working memory found abnormal dysfunction in the left hippocampus in ecstasy users (Jacobsen et al., 2004) . To date, little research has examined whether ecstasy has the potential to affect brain structure and no studies to date have specifically examined frontolimbic white matter integrity. The current study investigated whether ecstasy and marijuana (MJ) use was associated with white matter integrity in three frontolimbic tracts: the anterior thalamic radiation (ATR), unsinate facilicus (UNC), and forceps minor. Two MANCOVAs were run with ecstasy group, MJ group and controls as the primary factor and age as a covariate predicting ATR, UNC and forceps minor. MJ users demonstrated marginally reduced FA in the left UNC (MD = -.0322, p = .084). Ecstasy users demonstrated significantly increased MD in forceps minor (p=.02), left ATR (p=.01), right ATR (p=.008), right UNC (p=.03), left UNC (p-.07) compared to controls, but not in ecstasy users when both were compared to controls. MJ users also demonstrated reduced MD in forceps minor (p=.04), right ATR (p=.02), right UNC (p=.02), left UNC (p=.02). Ecstasy users did not significantly differ from MJ users in any tracts. Both MJ users and ecstasy users demonstrate reduced white matter integrity in frontolimbic tracts, although they did not differ from each other. Additional research is needed to examine dose-dependent effects of ecstasy or impact of ecstasy use that is not comorbid with MJ use.

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Apr 28th, 1:30 PM Apr 28th, 4:00 PM

Do Ecstasy And Marijuana Use Compromise Brain Structure? Examining Three Frontolimbic White Matter Tracts Using Diffusion Tensor Imaging

Union Wisconsin Room

3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), more commonly called "Ecstasy" or "Molly" is a recreational drug known to produce euphoria, arousal, heightened mood and mild hallucinations in users. Use of MDMA among young people is a rising public health concern; 4.2% of college aged students reported using MDMA in 2015, while 3.6% of high school seniors reported using the drug in that same year (Johnston et al., 2016). Research has suggested that ecstasy use may be correlated with deficits in verbal memory and other neurocognitive processes (Medina et al., 2007; Price & Lisdahl, 2012). Prior examination has found that when compared to controls, ecstasy users showed significantly slower reaction times when tested with selective and divided attention and working memory tasks (Jacobsen et al., 2004 ). Results of an fMRI task assessing working memory found abnormal dysfunction in the left hippocampus in ecstasy users (Jacobsen et al., 2004) . To date, little research has examined whether ecstasy has the potential to affect brain structure and no studies to date have specifically examined frontolimbic white matter integrity. The current study investigated whether ecstasy and marijuana (MJ) use was associated with white matter integrity in three frontolimbic tracts: the anterior thalamic radiation (ATR), unsinate facilicus (UNC), and forceps minor. Two MANCOVAs were run with ecstasy group, MJ group and controls as the primary factor and age as a covariate predicting ATR, UNC and forceps minor. MJ users demonstrated marginally reduced FA in the left UNC (MD = -.0322, p = .084). Ecstasy users demonstrated significantly increased MD in forceps minor (p=.02), left ATR (p=.01), right ATR (p=.008), right UNC (p=.03), left UNC (p-.07) compared to controls, but not in ecstasy users when both were compared to controls. MJ users also demonstrated reduced MD in forceps minor (p=.04), right ATR (p=.02), right UNC (p=.02), left UNC (p=.02). Ecstasy users did not significantly differ from MJ users in any tracts. Both MJ users and ecstasy users demonstrate reduced white matter integrity in frontolimbic tracts, although they did not differ from each other. Additional research is needed to examine dose-dependent effects of ecstasy or impact of ecstasy use that is not comorbid with MJ use.