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.
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- Describe the neurobiological link between substance use disorder and psychopathology
- Describe brain changes in methamphetamine use disorder
- Describe brain changes in cannabis use disorder
Estimated Time to Complete
Estimated Duration: 30 minutes
Begin Date: May 1, 2017
End Date: May 1, 2020
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Faculty and Planner Disclosures
- Deborah A. Yurgelun-Todd, Ph.D., The Brain Institute, The University of Utah. Reports no financial relationships with commercial interests.
- 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.
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