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Neuroimaging Correlates of Psychopathology and Substance Use Disorders

Activity Type:

  • On Demand

Release Date: 5/1/2017

Expiration Date: 2/1/2020

  • AMA PRA Category 1: 0.5
  • Participation: 0.5

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The prevalence of comorbid substance use disorders and psychiatric disorders is well-documented, though there is debate as to their potential role as shared etiologic factors. From a neurobiological perspective, it has been proposed that core symptoms observed in both substance use disorder and psychopathology are associated with alterations in circuits underlying inhibitory function, motivation and reward behavior. Studies examining the neurobiology of substance use disorder in both animals and humans have demonstrated consistent alterations in regions associated with the dopaminergic mesocorticolimbic pathway such as the ventral tegmental area, nucleus accumbens, amygdala, orbitofrontal cortex and anterior cingulate cortex. Such widespread brain changes may also reflect alterations in cerebral bioenergetics. For example, methamphetamine users and refractory depressed individuals share reductions in levels of phosphocreatine (PCr) in the brain, which serves as a primary short term buffer for adenosine triphosphate (ATP) levels. This presentation discusses findings from these studies in light of network dysfunctions that may be associated with risk for comorbid conditions and examines multimodal neuroimaging data acquired in both adolescent and adult cohorts of marijuana and methamphetamine users with and without psychiatric comorbidity.

**This content was captured at the 2016 APA Annual Meeting and may reference information from various sources and terminology from previous editions of the DSM. 


  • General Member - $6.25
  • Resident-Fellow Member - Free
  • Medical Student Member - $6.25
  • Non-Member - $12.50

Free member registration for this course through the Course of the Month program ended on May 31, 2017.

Educational Objectives

  • Describe the neurobiological link between substance use disorder and psychopathology
  • Describe brain changes in methamphetamine use disorder 
  • Describe brain changes in cannabis use disorder

Target Audience

Psychiatrists, Resident/Fellows

Estimated Time to Complete

Estimated Duration: 30 minutes
Begin Date: May 1, 2017
End Date: May 1, 2020

How to Earn Credit

Participants who wish to earn AMA PRA Category 1 Credit ™ or a certificate of participation may do so by completing all sections of the course including the evaluation. A multiple choice quiz is provided based on the content. A passing score of 100% must be achieved. Retakes are available for the test. After evaluating the program, course participants will be provided with an opportunity to claim hours of participation and print an official CME certificate (physicians) or certificate of participation (non-physicians) showing the event date and hours earned. 

Continuing Education Credit

The American Psychiatric Association (APA) is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The APA designates this enduring CME activity for a maximum of 0.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Faculty and Planner Disclosures


  • Deborah A. Yurgelun-Todd, Ph.D., The Brain Institute, The University of Utah. Reports no financial relationships with commercial interests. 

Program Planners

  • Tristan Gorrindo, M.D., Director of Education, American Psychiatric Association. Reports no financial relationships with commercial interests. 
  • Rajiv Radhakrishnan, M.D., Yale School of Medicine. Reports no financial relationships with commercial interests. 
  • Ricardo A. Juarez, M.S., Deputy Director, Development and Engagement, American Psychiatric Association. Reports no financial relationships with commercial interests. 
  • Claire Van Wagner, Membership Development Coordinator, American Psychiatric Association. Reports no financial relationships with commercial interests. 

Hardware/Software Requirements

This internet-based CME activity is best experienced using Internet Explorer 8+, Mozilla Firefox 3+, Safari 4+. This Web site requires that JavaScript and session cookies be enabled. Certain activities may require additional software to view multimedia, presentation, or printable versions of the content. These activities will be marked as such and will provide links to the required software. That software may be: Adobe Flash, Adobe Acrobat, Microsoft PowerPoint, and Windows Media Player.

Optimal System Configuration:

  • Flash Player: Adobe Flash Player 10.3+ 
  • Browser: Firefox (latest version), Internet Explorer 8.0+, Safari 7.0+, Microsoft Edge (latest version) or Google Chrome (latest version)
  • Operating System: Windows XP+ or Mac OS X 10.4+ 
  • Internet Connection: 1 Mbps or higher

Minimum Requirements:

  • Windows PC: 500-MHz Pentium II; Windows XP or higher; 128 MB RAM; Video Card at least 64MB of video memory; Macromedia Flash Player 10.3 or higher; Sound Card at least 16-bit; audio playback with speakers for programs with video content
  • Macintosh:Mac OS X 10.4+ or higher with latest updates installed; 1.83MHz Intel Core Duo or faster; RAM: 128MB or more; Video Card: at least 64MB of video memory; Sound Card: at least 16-bit; audio playback with speakers for programs with video content

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All materials copyright American Psychiatric Association ©2017.

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