Distress tolerance among substance users is associated with functional connectivity between prefrontal regions during a distress tolerance task

Stacey B. Daughters, Thomas J. Ross, Ryan P. Bell, Jennifer Y. Yi, Jonathan Ryan, Elliot A. Stein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 2 Citations

Abstract

Distress tolerance (DT), defined as the ability to persist in goal directed behavior while experiencing affective distress, is implicated in the development and maintenance of substance use disorders. While theory and evidence indicate that cortico-limbic neural dysfunction may account for deficits in goal directed behavior while experiencing distress, the neurobiological mechanisms of DT have yet to be examined. We modified a computerized DT task for use in functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), the Paced Auditory Serial Addition Task (PASAT-M), and examined the neural correlates and functional connectivity of DT among a cohort of substance users (n = 21; regular cocaine and nicotine users) and healthy controls (n = 25). In response to distress during the PASAT-M, we found greater activation in a priori cortico-limbic network ROIs, namely the right insula, anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), bilateral medial frontal gyrus (MFG), right inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) and right ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) significantly predicted higher DT among substance users, but not healthy controls. In addition, greater task-specific functional connectivity during distress between the right MFG and bilateral vmPFC/sgACC was associated with higher DT among substance users, but not healthy controls. The observed positive relationship between DT and neural activation in cortico-limbic structures, as well as functional connectivity between the rMFG and vmPFC/sgACC, is in line with theory and research suggesting the importance of these structures for persisting in goal directed behavior while experiencing affective distress.

LanguageEnglish (US)
Pages1378-1390
Number of pages13
JournalAddiction Biology
Volume22
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2017

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Prefrontal Cortex
Aptitude
Gyrus Cinguli
Nicotine
Cocaine
Substance-Related Disorders
Maintenance
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Research

Keywords

  • distress tolerance
  • emotion regulation
  • fMRI
  • prefrontal cortex
  • substance use disorder

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Cite this

Distress tolerance among substance users is associated with functional connectivity between prefrontal regions during a distress tolerance task. / Daughters, Stacey B.; Ross, Thomas J.; Bell, Ryan P.; Yi, Jennifer Y.; Ryan, Jonathan; Stein, Elliot A.

In: Addiction Biology, Vol. 22, No. 5, 01.09.2017, p. 1378-1390.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Daughters, Stacey B. ; Ross, Thomas J. ; Bell, Ryan P. ; Yi, Jennifer Y. ; Ryan, Jonathan ; Stein, Elliot A./ Distress tolerance among substance users is associated with functional connectivity between prefrontal regions during a distress tolerance task. In: Addiction Biology. 2017 ; Vol. 22, No. 5. pp. 1378-1390
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