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Keywords:

  • Cingulate gyrus;
  • diffusion tensor imaging;
  • fractional anisotropy;
  • frontal gyrus;
  • heroin addiction;
  • white matter

ABSTRACT

Previous neuroimaging studies have documented the structural damage in heroin addicts. However, little research has detailed the white matter microstructural changes in the human brain as a result of chronic heroin use and importantly, whether such changes can be recovered after short-term abstinence. Decreased fractional anisotropy values in frontal cortex were found in heroin users after 3 days of abstinence in comparison with controls. However, no significant difference was found between these heroin addicts and controls after 1-month abstinence. These results might better our understanding of the biological basis of drug addiction and provide insight into addiction treatment.