Structural connectivity in adolescent synthetic cannabinoid users with and without ADHD
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Synthetic cannabinoids (SC) have become increasingly popular in the last few years, especially among adolescents. Given ADHD is overrepresented in patients with substance use across adolescents compared to the general population, the current study aims were two-fold: i) examine structural brain network topology in SC users compared to healthy controls and, ii) examine the influence of ADHD on network topology in SC users. Diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging scans were acquired from 27 SC users (14 without ADHD and 13 with ADHD combined type) and 13 controls. Structural networks were examined using network-based statistic and connectomic analysis. We found that SC users without ADHD had significantly weaker connectivity compared to controls in bilateral hemispheres, most notably in edges connecting the left parietal and occipital regions. In contrast, SC users with ADHD showed stronger structural connectivity compared to controls. In addition, adolescent SC users with ADHD, but not without ADHD, displayed reduced network organization, indicated by lower clustering coefficient and modularity, suggesting that poor structural network segregation and preserved structural network integration. These results suggest that comorbidity of ADHD and substance dependence may show different structural connectivity alterations than substance use alone. Therefore, future connectivity studies in the substance use population should account for the presence of ADHD in their samples, which may be associated with disparate connectivity profiles.
KeywordsSynthetic cannabinoids ADHD Structural connectivity White matter Connectomics
This research was funded by Ege University Science and Technology Application and Research Center (grant number 2015 EGEBAM 001) which had no role in the design of the study, collection and analysis of data and decision to publish.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study
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