Abnormal resting-state functional connectivity in the orbitofrontal cortex of heroin users and its relationship with anxiety: A pilot fNIRS study

Hada Fong Ha Ieong, Zhen Yuan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations

Abstract

Drug addiction is widely linked to the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), which is essential for regulating reward-related behaviors, emotional responses, and anxiety. Over the past two decades, neuroimaging has provided significant contributions revealing functional and structural alternations in the brains of drug addicts. However, the underlying neural mechanism in the OFC and its correlates with drug addiction and anxiety still require further elucidation. We first presented a pilot investigation to examine local networks in OFC regions through resting-state functional connectivity (rsFC) using functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) from eight abstinent addicts in a heroin-dependent group (HD) and seven subjects in a control group (CG). We discovered that the HDs manifested enhanced interhemispheric correlation and rsFC. Moreover, small-worldness was explored in the brain networks. In addition to the altered rsFC in the OFC networks, our examinations demonstrated associations in the functional connectivity between the left inferior frontal gyrus and other OFC regions related to anxiety in the HDs. The study provides important preliminary evidence of the complex OFC networks in heroin addiction and suggests neural correlates of anxiety. It opens a window in application of fNIRS to predict psychiatric trajectories and may create new insights into neural adaptations resulting from chronic opiate intake.

Original languageEnglish
Article number46522
JournalScientific Reports
Volume7
DOIs
StatePublished - 19 Apr 2017
Externally publishedYes

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