Psychopharmacology

, Volume 210, Issue 4, pp 577–583

Hippocampal and striatal gray matter volume are associated with a smoking cessation treatment outcome: results of an exploratory voxel-based morphometric analysis

  • Brett Froeliger
  • Rachel V. Kozink
  • Jed E. Rose
  • Frederique M. Behm
  • Alfred N. Salley
  • F. Joseph McClernon
Original Investigation

DOI: 10.1007/s00213-010-1862-3

Cite this article as:
Froeliger, B., Kozink, R.V., Rose, J.E. et al. Psychopharmacology (2010) 210: 577. doi:10.1007/s00213-010-1862-3

Abstract

Rationale

Compared to nonsmokers, smokers exhibit a number of potentially important differences in regional brain structure including reduced gray matter (GM) volume and/or density in areas including frontal and cingulate cortices, thalamus, and insula. However, associations between brain structure and smoking cessation treatment outcomes have not been reported.

Objectives

In the present analysis we sought to identify associations between regional GM volume—as measured by voxel-based morphometry (VBM)—and a smoking cessation treatment outcome (point prevalence abstinence at 4 weeks).

Methods

Adult smokers underwent high-resolution anatomical MRI scanning prior to an open label smoking cessation treatment trial. VBM was conducted in SPM5 using the DARTEL algorithm and relapser vs. quitter groups were compared using independent sample t tests (p < 0.001, uncorrected). Analyses controlled for potentially confounding factors including years smoked, cigarettes per day, total intracranial volume (TIV), and sex.

Results

Of 18 smokers, 8 achieved a 4-week point prevalence abstinence, confirmed by CO level (≤8 ppm). After controlling for all covariates, compared to relapsers, quitters had significantly higher GM volume in the left putamen and right occipital lobe, while also significantly lower GM volume in bilateral hippocampus and right cuneus.

Conclusions

These preliminary results suggest that maintaining smoking abstinence is associated with higher pre-quit brain volume in regions that subserve habit learning and visual processing, and lower brain volume in regions that subserve long-term memory processes and visual information processing. Future, large-scale studies can determine whether brain structure variables can serve as clinically useful predictors of smoking cessation treatment outcome.

Keywords

Smoking VBM Grey matter volume MRI Smoking cessation Hippocampus 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brett Froeliger
    • 1
  • Rachel V. Kozink
    • 1
  • Jed E. Rose
    • 1
  • Frederique M. Behm
    • 1
  • Alfred N. Salley
    • 1
  • F. Joseph McClernon
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesDuke University Medical CenterDurhamUSA
  2. 2.Brain Imaging and Analysis CenterDuke University Medical CenterDurhamUSA
  3. 3.Durham Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and VISN 6 Mental Illness Research, Education, and Clinical CenterDurhamUSA

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