White matter abnormalities in long-term anabolic-androgenic steroid users: A pilot study
Abstract Recent studies of long-term anabolic-androgenic steroid (AAS) users reported amygdala structural and functional connectivity abnormalities. We assessed white matter microstructure in the inferior-fronto-occipital fasciculus (IFOF), a major associative bundle of the amygdala network. Diffusion weighted images acquired from 9 male long-term AAS users and 8 matched controls aged 36–51 years old were processed using a standardized pipeline (Tract-Based Spatial Statistics). Group differences were examined using linear regression with adjustment for age and current testosterone level. Compared to nonusers, AAS users exhibited significantly higher fractional anisotropy (FA) in the IFOF. Users showed markedly greater FA than nonusers on the left IFOF but only a modest, nonsignificant difference on the right IFOF. Moreover, FA was positively associated with lifetime cumulative AAS dose. Our results suggest that long-term AAS use alters IFOF white matter organization and integrity, which in turn might affect amygdala-related processes such as reward system function. Accordingly, further studies are needed to replicate findings in larger subject groups to determine the functional significance of the FA abnormality. Highlights Anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS) cause psychiatric and cognitive abnormalities. We performed the first Diffusion Tensor Imaging study of long-term AAS users. Fractional anisotropy (FA) was higher in AAS users in an amygdala network tract. Among AAS users, FA in this tract was positively associated with lifetime AAS dose. The FA abnormality is consistent with prior human and animal studies of AAS effects.
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- DOI : http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pscychresns.2016.12.003
- Elsevier : 저널> 권호 > 논문
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