Psychological dysregulation, white matter disorganization and substance use disorders in adolescence
Article first published online: 7 OCT 2011
© 2011 The Authors, Addiction © 2011 Society for the Study of Addiction
Volume 107, Issue 1, pages 206–214, January 2012
How to Cite
Clark, D. B., Chung, T., Thatcher, D. L., Pajtek, S. and Long, E. C. (2012), Psychological dysregulation, white matter disorganization and substance use disorders in adolescence. Addiction, 107: 206–214. doi: 10.1111/j.1360-0443.2011.03566.x
- Issue published online: 12 DEC 2011
- Article first published online: 7 OCT 2011
- Accepted manuscript online: 13 JUL 2011 01:55PM EST
- Submitted 22 December 2010; initial review completed 14 February 2011; final version accepted 7 July 2011
- diffusion tensor imaging;
- substance use disorders
Aims Adolescents with substance use disorders (SUD) have difficulties with cognitive, behavioral and affective regulation. White matter (WM) disorganization has been observed in adolescents with SUD and may be related to psychological dysregulation. This study compared adolescents with SUD and control adolescents to investigate relationships among psychological dysregulation, WM disorganization and SUD symptoms.
Design Cross-sectional observation.
Setting Adolescents with SUD were recruited from SUD treatment programs. Controls were recruited from the community.
Participants The 55 participants were aged 14–19; 35 with SUD and 20 controls without SUD.
Measurements Psychological dysregulation was characterized by the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function. WM disorganization was measured by diffusion tensor imaging, and fractional anisotropy, radial diffusivity and axial diffusivity were examined within cortical regions of interest.
Findings Compared to controls, SUD adolescents showed significantly greater psychological dysregulation and prefrontal and parietal WM disorganization. WM disorganization was correlated positively with psychological dysregulation and cannabis-related symptoms. In multivariate mediation models, the results were consistent with both the neurodevelopmental immaturity model, in which WM disorganization leads to psychological dysregulation and cannabis-related symptoms, and with the substance effects model, in which cannabis-related symptoms lead to WM disorganization and psychological dysregulation.
Conclusions In adolescents, substance use disorder and psychological dysregulation appear to be associated with reduced frontoparietal network white matter maturation.