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Author: Patricia J Conrod (76)


Dec
2017

Nociceptin is a key regulator linking environmental stress and alcohol drinking. In a genome-wide methylation analysis, we recently identified an association of a methylated region in the OPRL1 gene with alcohol-use disorders.
Here, we investigate the biological basis of this observation by analysing psychosocial stressors, methylation of the OPRL1 gene, brain response during reward anticipation and alcohol drinking in 660 fourteen-year-old adolescents of the IMAGEN study.

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Dec
2017

This study aims to identify key process variables that are associated with changes in alcohol consumption and mental health symptoms over 12months following personality-targeted interventions in youth.
154 high-risk youth (aged 12-13years) in 7 Montreal high schools were identified using the Substance Use Risk Profile Scale and participated in personality-matched interventions. Preliminary process variables were identified using a combination of psychotherapy process variables and youth-generated (qualitative) feedback immediately post-intervention.

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Dec
1969

The authors sought to explore how conduct, hyperactivity/inattention, and emotional symptoms are associated with neural reactivity to social-emotional stimuli, and the extent to which psychosocial stress modulates these relationships.
Participants were community adolescents recruited as part of the European IMAGEN study. Bilateral amygdala regions of interest were used to assess the relationship between the three symptom domains and functional MRI neural reactivity during passive viewing of dynamic angry and neutral facial expressions.

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Oct
2017

Substance use and binge drinking during early adolescence are associated with neurocognitive abnormalities, mental health problems and an increased risk for future addiction. The trial aims to evaluate the protective effects of an evidence-based substance use prevention programme on the onset of alcohol and drug use in adolescence, as well as on cognitive, mental health and addiction outcomes over 5 years.
Thirty-eight high schools will be recruited, with a final sample of 31 schools assigned to intervention or control conditions (3826 youth).

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May
2017

In a recent genomewide association study of subcortical brain volumes, a common genetic variation at rs945270 was identified as having the strongest effect on putamen volume, a brain measurement linked to familial risk for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). To determine whether rs945270 might be a genetic determinant of ADHD, its effects on ADHD-related symptoms and neural mechanisms of ADHD, such as response inhibition and reward sensitivity, were explored.
A large population sample of 1,834 14-year-old adolescents was used to test the effects of rs945270 on ADHD symptoms assessed through the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire and region-of-interest analyses of putamen activation by functional magnetic resonance imaging using the stop signal and monetary incentive delay tasks, assessing response inhibition and reward sensitivity, respectively.

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Dec
1969

This study investigated the neural correlates of psychotic-like experiences in youths during tasks involving inhibitory control, reward anticipation, and emotion processing. A secondary aim was to test whether these neurofunctional correlates of risk were predictive of psychotic symptoms 2 years later.
Functional imaging responses to three paradigms-the stop-signal, monetary incentive delay, and faces tasks-were collected in youths at age 14, as part of the IMAGEN study.

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Dec
1969

Variations in genes encoding several GABAreceptors have been associated with human drug and alcohol abuse. Among these, a number of human studies have suggested an association between, the gene encoding GABAreceptor β1 subunits, with Alcohol dependence (AD), both on its own and comorbid with other substance dependence and psychiatric illnesses. In the present study, we hypothesized that thegenetically-associated increased risk for developing alcoholism may be associated with impaired behavioral control and altered sensitivity to reward, as a consequence of altered brain function.

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Nov
2017

Neuroimaging studies of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have most commonly reported volumetric abnormalities in the basal ganglia, cerebellum, and prefrontal cortices. Few studies have examined the relationship between ADHD symptomatology and brain structure in population-based samples. We investigated the relationship between dimensional measures of ADHD symptomatology, brain structure, and reaction time variability-an index of lapses in attention.

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Feb
2017

Novelty-seeking tendencies in adolescents may promote innovation as well as problematic impulsive behaviour, including drug abuse. Previous research has not clarified whether neural hyper- or hypo-responsiveness to anticipated rewards promotes vulnerability in these individuals. Here we use a longitudinal design to track 144 novelty-seeking adolescents at age 14 and 16 to determine whether neural activity in response to anticipated rewards predicts problematic drug use.

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Dec
1969

Here we report the first and most robust evidence about how sleep habits are associated with regional brain grey matter volumes and school grade average in early adolescence. Shorter time in bed during weekdays, and later weekend sleeping hours correlate with smaller brain grey matter volumes in frontal, anterior cingulate, and precuneus cortex regions. Poor school grade average associates with later weekend bedtime and smaller grey matter volumes in medial brain regions.

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Feb
2017

The processing of reward and reinforcement learning seems to be important determinants of pain chronicity. However, reward processing is already altered early in life and if this is related to the development of pain symptoms later on is not known. The aim of this study was first to examine whether behavioural and brain-related indicators of reward processing at the age of 14 to 15 years are significant predictors of pain complaints 2 years later, at 16 to 17 years.

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Jun
2017

This study investigated the prevalence of disordered eating cognitions and behaviours across mid-adolescence in a large European sample, and explored the extent to which prevalence ratings were affected by informant (parent/adolescent), or the sex or age of the adolescent. The Development and Well-Being Assessment was completed by parent-adolescent dyads at age 14 (n = 2225) and again at age 16 (n = 1607) to explore the prevalence of 7 eating disorder symptoms (binge eating, purging, fear of weight gain, distress over shape/weight, avoidance of fattening foods, food restriction, and exercise for weight loss). Informant agreement was assessed using kappa coefficients.

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Dec
2016

Onset of alcohol use by 14 relative to 21 years of age strongly predicts elevated risk for severe alcohol use problems, with 27% versus 4% of individuals exhibiting alcohol dependence within 10 years of onset. What remains unclear is whether this early alcohol use (i) is a marker for later problems, reflected as a pre-existing developmental predisposition, (ii) causes global neural atrophy or (iii) specifically disturbs neuro-maturational processes implicated in addiction, such as executive functions or reward processing. Since our group has demonstrated that a novel intervention program targeting personality traits associated with adolescent alcohol use can prevent the uptake of drinking and binge drinking by 40 to 60%, a crucial question is whether prevention of early onset alcohol misuse will protect adolescent neurodevelopment and which domains of neurodevelopment can be protected.

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Dec
1969

Personality-Targeted Interventions for Substance Use and Misuse.

Curr Addict Rep 2016 4;3(4):426-436. Epub 2016 Nov 4.
Patricia J Conrod
Personality factors have been implicated in risk for substance use disorders through longitudinal and neurobiologic studies for over four decades. Only recently, however, have targeted interventions been developed to assist individuals with personality risk factors for substance use disorders manage their risk. This article reviews current practices in personality-targeted interventions and the eight randomised trials examining the efficacy of such approaches with respect to reducing and preventing substance use and misuse.

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Nov
2016

Despite calls for integration of neurobiological methods into research on youth resilience (high competence despite high adversity), we know little about structural brain correlates of resilient functioning. The aim of the current study was to test for brain regions uniquely associated with positive functioning in the context of adversity, using detailed phenotypic classification.
1,870 European adolescents (M = 14.

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Oct
2017

Human subcortical brain asymmetries in 15,847 people worldwide reveal effects of age and sex.

Brain Imaging Behav 2017 Oct;11(5):1497-1514
Tulio Guadalupe, Samuel R Mathias, Theo G M vanErp, Christopher D Whelan, Marcel P Zwiers, Yoshinari Abe, Lucija Abramovic, Ingrid Agartz, Ole A Andreassen, Alejandro Arias-Vásquez, Benjamin S Aribisala, Nicola J Armstrong, Volker Arolt, Eric Artiges, Rosa Ayesa-Arriola, Vatche G Baboyan, Tobias Banaschewski, Gareth Barker, Mark E Bastin, Bernhard T Baune, John Blangero, Arun L W Bokde, Premika S W Boedhoe, Anushree Bose, Silvia Brem, Henry Brodaty, Uli Bromberg, Samantha Brooks, Christian Büchel, Jan Buitelaar, Vince D Calhoun, Dara M Cannon, Anna Cattrell, Yuqi Cheng, Patricia J Conrod, Annette Conzelmann, Aiden Corvin, Benedicto Crespo-Facorro, Fabrice Crivello, Udo Dannlowski, Greig I de Zubicaray, Sonja M C de Zwarte, Ian J Deary, Sylvane Desrivières, Nhat Trung Doan, Gary Donohoe, Erlend S Dørum, Stefan Ehrlich, Thomas Espeseth, Guillén Fernández, Herta Flor, Jean-Paul Fouche, Vincent Frouin, Masaki Fukunaga, Jürgen Gallinat, Hugh Garavan, Michael Gill, Andrea Gonzalez Suarez, Penny Gowland, Hans J Grabe, Dominik Grotegerd, Oliver Gruber, Saskia Hagenaars, Ryota Hashimoto, Tobias U Hauser, Andreas Heinz, Derrek P Hibar, Pieter J Hoekstra, Martine Hoogman, Fleur M Howells, Hao Hu, Hilleke E Hulshoff Pol, Chaim Huyser, Bernd Ittermann, Neda Jahanshad, Erik G Jönsson, Sarah Jurk, Rene S Kahn, Sinead Kelly, Bernd Kraemer, Harald Kugel, Jun Soo Kwon, Herve Lemaitre, Klaus-Peter Lesch, Christine Lochner, Michelle Luciano, Andre F Marquand, Nicholas G Martin, Ignacio Martínez-Zalacaín, Jean-Luc Martinot, David Mataix-Cols, Karen Mather, Colm McDonald, Katie L McMahon, Sarah E Medland, José M Menchón, Derek W Morris, Omar Mothersill, Susana Munoz Maniega, Benson Mwangi, Takashi Nakamae, Tomohiro Nakao, Janardhanan C Narayanaswaamy, Frauke Nees, Jan E Nordvik, A Marten H Onnink, Nils Opel, Roel Ophoff, Marie-Laure Paillère Martinot, Dimitri Papadopoulos Orfanos, Paul Pauli, Tomáš Paus, Luise Poustka, Janardhan Yc Reddy, Miguel E Renteria, Roberto Roiz-Santiáñez, Annerine Roos, Natalie A Royle, Perminder Sachdev, Pascual Sánchez-Juan, Lianne Schmaal, Gunter Schumann, Elena Shumskaya, Michael N Smolka, Jair C Soares, Carles Soriano-Mas, Dan J Stein, Lachlan T Strike, Roberto Toro, Jessica A Turner, Nathalie Tzourio-Mazoyer, Anne Uhlmann, Maria Valdés Hernández, Odile A van den Heuvel, Dennis van der Meer, Neeltje E M van Haren, Dick J Veltman, Ganesan Venkatasubramanian, Nora C Vetter, Daniella Vuletic, Susanne Walitza, Henrik Walter, Esther Walton, Zhen Wang, Joanna Wardlaw, Wei Wen, Lars T Westlye, Robert Whelan, Katharina Wittfeld, Thomas Wolfers, Margaret J Wright, Jian Xu, Xiufeng Xu, Je-Yeon Yun, JingJing Zhao, Barbara Franke, Paul M Thompson, David C Glahn, Bernard Mazoyer, Simon E Fisher, Clyde Francks
The two hemispheres of the human brain differ functionally and structurally. Despite over a century of research, the extent to which brain asymmetry is influenced by sex, handedness, age, and genetic factors is still controversial. Here we present the largest ever analysis of subcortical brain asymmetries, in a harmonized multi-site study using meta-analysis methods.

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Aug
2016

Psychotic disorders are characterized by attenuated activity in the brain's valuation system in key reward processing areas, such as the ventral striatum (VS), as measured with functional magnetic resonance imaging.
To examine whether common risk variants for psychosis are associated with individual variation in the VS.
A cross-sectional study of a large cohort of adolescents from the IMAGEN study (a European multicenter study of reinforcement sensitivity in adolescents) was performed from March 1, 2008, through December 31, 2011.

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Dec
1969

Impulsivity is associated with a spectrum of psychiatric disorders including drug addiction. To investigate genetic associations with impulsivity and initiation of drug taking, we took a two-step approach. First, we identified genes whose expression level in prefrontal cortex, striatum and accumbens were associated with impulsive behavior in the 5-choice serial reaction time task across 10 BXD recombinant inbred (BXD RI) mouse strains and their progenitor C57BL/6J and DBA2/J strains.

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Dec
1969

This study investigated the long-term effectiveness of Preventure, a selective personality-targeted prevention program, in reducing the uptake of alcohol, harmful use of alcohol, and alcohol-related harms over a 3-year period.
A cluster randomized controlled trial was conducted to assess the effectiveness of Preventure. Schools were block randomized to one of two groups: the Preventure group (n = 7 schools) and the Control group (n = 7 schools).

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Dec
1969

Substance misusers, including adolescent smokers, often have reduced reward system activity during processing of non-drug rewards. Using a psychophysiological interaction approach, we examined functional connectivity with the ventral striatum during reward anticipation in a large (N = 206) sample of adolescent smokers. Increased smoking frequency was associated with (1) increased connectivity with regions involved in saliency and valuation, including the orbitofrontal cortex and (2) reduced connectivity between the ventral striatum and regions associated with inhibition and risk aversion, including the right inferior frontal gyrus.

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Apr
2016

Dysfunctional reward processing is implicated in various mental disorders, including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and addictions. Such impairments might involve different components of the reward process, including brain activity during reward anticipation. We examined brain nodes engaged by reward anticipation in 1,544 adolescents and identified a network containing a core striatal node and cortical nodes facilitating outcome prediction and response preparation.

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Aug
2017

Individual differences in impulsivity and early adversity are known to be strong predictors of adolescent antisocial behavior. However, the neurobiological bases of impulsivity and their relation to antisocial behavior and adversity are poorly understood.
Impulsivity was estimated with a temporal discounting task.

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Mar
2016

Adolescence represents a period of development during which critical biological, as well as social and cognitive, changes occur that are necessary for the transition into adulthood. A number of researchers have suggested that the pattern of normative brain changes that occurs during this period not only predisposes adolescents to engage in risk behaviours, such as experimentation with drugs, but that they additionally make the adolescent brain more vulnerable to the direct pharmacological impact of substances of abuse. The neural circuits that we examine in this review involve cortico-basal-ganglia/limbic networks implicated in the processing of rewards, emotion regulation, and the control of behaviour, emotion and cognition.

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May
2016

This study aims to explore the mechanisms of personality-targeted intervention effects on problematic drinking, internalizing and externalizing symptoms.
As part of a cluster-randomized trial, 1,210 high-risk students (mean age 13.7 years) in 19 London high schools (42.

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Feb
2016

This study investigated the validity of a brief personality screening measure for substance use in adolescents, the Substance Use Risk Profile Scale (SURPS), among Australian adolescents.
A total of 527 adolescents (mean age: 13.38years, SD=0.

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Oct
2015

Cannabis use during adolescence is known to increase the risk for schizophrenia in men. Sex differences in the dynamics of brain maturation during adolescence may be of particular importance with regard to vulnerability of the male brain to cannabis exposure.
To evaluate whether the association between cannabis use and cortical maturation in adolescents is moderated by a polygenic risk score for schizophrenia.

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Jul
2015

Alcohol abuse is highly prevalent, but little is understood about the molecular causes. Here, we report that Ras suppressor 1 (Rsu1) affects ethanol consumption in flies and humans. Drosophila lacking Rsu1 show reduced sensitivity to ethanol-induced sedation.

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Sep
2015

Adolescence is a vulnerable time for both substance use and bullying involvement; however, there is limited research on substance use among adolescent victims of bullying. This study aimed to examine concurrent and prospective associations between bullying and substance use, differentiating between passive-victims, bully-victims and 'pure' bullies.
Associations between bullying involvement and substance use at baseline and 24 months post-baseline were examined in a cohort of adolescents in Australia.

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Dec
1969

To investigate the role of personality factors and attentional biases towards emotional faces, in establishing concurrent and prospective risk for mental disorder diagnosis in adolescence.
Data were obtained as part of the IMAGEN study, conducted across 8 European sites, with a community sample of 2257 adolescents. At 14 years, participants completed an emotional variant of the dot-probe task, as well two personality measures, namely the Substance Use Risk Profile Scale and the revised NEO Personality Inventory.

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Oct
2015

To examine the effectiveness of a personality-targeted intervention program (Adventure trial) delivered by trained teachers to high-risk (HR) high-school students on reducing marijuana use and frequency of use.
A cluster-randomized controlled trial.
Secondary schools in London, UK.

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Jun
2015

The genetic component of alcohol use disorder is substantial, but monozygotic twin discordance indicates a role for nonheritable differences that could be mediated by epigenetics. Despite growing evidence associating epigenetics and psychiatric disorders, it is unclear how epigenetics, particularly DNA methylation, relate to brain function and behavior, including drinking behavior.
The authors carried out a genome-wide analysis of DNA methylation of 18 monozygotic twin pairs discordant for alcohol use disorder and validated differentially methylated regions.

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May
2016

Adolescence is a common time for initiation of alcohol use and alcohol use disorders. Importantly, the neuro-anatomical foundation for later alcohol-related problems may already manifest pre-natally, particularly due to smoking and alcohol consumption during pregnancy. In this context, cortical gyrification is an interesting marker of neuronal development but has not been investigated as a risk factor for adolescent alcohol use.

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Dec
2014

Longitudinal and family-based research suggests that conduct disorder, substance misuse, and ADHD involve both unique forms of dysfunction as well as more specific dysfunctions unique to each condition. Using direct measures of brain function, this study also found evidence in both unique and disorder-specific perturbations.

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Aug
2014

A comprehensive account of the causes of alcohol misuse must accommodate individual differences in biology, psychology and environment, and must disentangle cause and effect. Animal models can demonstrate the effects of neurotoxic substances; however, they provide limited insight into the psycho-social and higher cognitive factors involved in the initiation of substance use and progression to misuse. One can search for pre-existing risk factors by testing for endophenotypic biomarkers in non-using relatives; however, these relatives may have personality or neural resilience factors that protect them from developing dependence.

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May
2014

The online universal Climate Schools intervention has been found to be effective in reducing the use of alcohol and cannabis among Australian adolescents. The aim of the current study was to examine the feasibility of implementing this prevention programme in the UK.
A pilot study examining the feasibility of the Climate Schools programme in the UK was conducted with teachers and students from Year 9 classes at two secondary schools in southeast London.

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Dec
1969

Playing video games is a common recreational activity of adolescents. Recent research associated frequent video game playing with improvements in cognitive functions. Improvements in cognition have been related to grey matter changes in prefrontal cortex.

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Aug
2015

Substance use among adolescents is of significant concern and the need for preventive interventions is clear. Although universal prevention programs have shown to reduce substance use among Australian adolescents, no effective selective program has been developed for high-risk youth in Australia. Preventure is a personality-targeted intervention that has shown to be effective in the UK and Canada and is yet to be trialled in Australia.

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Dec
1969

A compulsivity spectrum has been hypothesized to exist across Obsessive-Compulsive disorder (OCD), Eating Disorders (ED), substance abuse (SA) and binge-drinking (BD). The objective was to examine the validity of this compulsivity spectrum, and differentiate it from an externalizing behaviors dimension, but also to look at hypothesized personality and neural correlates.
A community-sample of adolescents (N=1938; mean age 14.

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Mar
2014

Neuroticism involves a tendency for enhanced emotional and cognitive processing of negative affective stimuli and a propensity to worry and be anxious. It is known that this trait modulates fear learning and the activation of brain regions involved in it such as the amygdala, hippocampus, and prefrontal cortex and their connectivity. Thirty-nine (21 female) 14-year-old healthy adolescents participated in functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) of aversive pavlovian differential delay conditioning.

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Sep
2014

Common variants in the oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR) have been shown to influence social and affective behavior and to moderate the effect of adverse experiences on risk for social-affective problems. However, the intermediate neurobiological mechanisms are not fully understood. Although human functional neuroimaging studies have reported that oxytocin effects on social behavior and emotional states are mediated by amygdala function, animal models indicate that oxytocin receptors in the ventral striatum (VS) modulate sensitivity to social reinforcers.

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Sep
2013

The Substance Use Risk Profile Scale (SURPS) has been developed to screen personality risk factors for substance abuse. This scale assesses 4 high-risk personality traits using a 23-item, self-report questionnaire. SURPS helps guiding targeted approaches to prevention of substance abuse and misuse.

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Sep
2013

To assess the 2-year impact of teacher-delivered, brief, personality-targeted interventions on internalizing and externalizing symptoms in an adolescent U.K. sample.

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Sep
2013

Recently, genome-wide association between schizophrenia and an intronic variant in AMBRA1 (rs11819869) was reported. Additionally, in a reverse genetic approach in adult healthy subjects, risk allele carriers showed a higher medial prefrontal cortex blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) response during a flanker task examining motor inhibition as an aspect of impulsivity. To test whether this finding can be expanded to further aspects of impulsivity, we analysed the effects of the rs11819869 genotype on impulsivity-related traits on a behavioral, temperament and neural level in a large sample of healthy adolescents.

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Feb
2013

The current paper aims to review findings from developmental research that are related to adolescent substance-use and are considered key for improving theory and developing effective prevention.
A selective literature review of relevant developmental studies on adolescent substance-use was conducted.
Studies in epidemiology and developmental science focusing on developmental onset, developmental transitions, comorbidity among disorders, and endophenotypes have identified important trends, risk-factors for and consequences of adolescent substance-use, which have informed theoretical models of addiction.

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Mar
2013

Selective school-based alcohol prevention programs targeting youth with personality risk factors for addiction and mental health problems have been found to reduce substance use and misuse in those with elevated personality profiles.
To report 24-month outcomes of the Teacher-Delivered Personality-Targeted Interventions for Substance Misuse Trial (Adventure trial) in which school staff were trained to provide interventions to students with 1 of 4 high-risk (HR) profiles: anxiety sensitivity, hopelessness, impulsivity, and sensation seeking and to examine the indirect herd effects of this program on the broader low-risk (LR) population of students who were not selected for intervention.
Cluster randomized controlled trial.

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Dec
2012

The firing of mesolimbic dopamine neurons is important for drug-induced reinforcement, although underlying genetic factors remain poorly understood. In a recent genome-wide association metaanalysis of alcohol intake, we identified a suggestive association of SNP rs26907 in the ras-specific guanine-nucleotide releasing factor 2 (RASGRF2) gene, encoding a protein that mediates Ca(2+)-dependent activation of the ERK pathway. We performed functional characterization of this gene in relation to alcohol-related phenotypes and mesolimbic dopamine function in both mice and adolescent humans.

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Nov
2012

Adolescence is a transition period that is assumed to be characterized by increased sensitivity to reward. While there is growing research on reward processing in adolescents, investigations into the engagement of brain regions under different reward-related conditions in one sample of healthy adolescents, especially in a target age group, are missing. We aimed to identify brain regions preferentially activated in a reaction time task (monetary incentive delay (MID) task) and a simple guessing task (SGT) in a sample of 14-year-old adolescents (N = 54) using two commonly used reward paradigms.

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