Cannabis and alcohol are believed to have widespread effects on the brain. Although adolescents are at increased risk for substance use, the adolescent brain may also be particularly vulnerable to the effects of drug exposure due to its rapid maturation. Here, we examined the association between cannabis and alcohol use duration and resting-state functional connectivity in a large sample of male juvenile delinquents. The present sample was drawn from the Southwest Advanced Neuroimaging Cohort, Youth sample, and from a youth detention facility in Wisconsin. All participants were scanned at the maximum-security facilities using The Mind Research Network's 1.5T Avanto SQ Mobile MRI scanner. Information on cannabis and alcohol regular use duration was collected using self-report. Resting-state networks were computed using group independent component analysis in 201 participants. Associations with cannabis and alcohol use were assessed using Mancova analyses controlling for age, IQ, smoking and psychopathy scores in the complete case sample of 180 male juvenile delinquents. No associations between alcohol or cannabis use and network spatial maps were found. Longer cannabis use was associated with decreased low frequency power of the default mode network, the executive control networks (ECNs), and several sensory networks, and with decreased functional network connectivity. Duration of alcohol use was associated with decreased low frequency power of the right frontoparietal network, salience network, dorsal attention network, and several sensory networks. Our findings suggest that adolescent cannabis and alcohol use are associated with widespread differences in resting-state time course power spectra, which may persist even after abstinence.

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Drug and Alcohol Dependence
Department of Pedagogical Sciences

Thijssen, S., Rashid, B. (Barnaly), Gopal, S. (Shruti), Nyalakanti, P. (Prashanth), Calhoun, V., & Kiehl, K. (2017). Regular cannabis and alcohol use is associated with resting-state time course power spectra in incarcerated adolescents. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 178, 492–500. doi:10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2017.05.045