[Skip to Content]
Access to paid content on this site is currently suspended due to excessive activity being detected from your IP address 34.204.191.0. Please contact the publisher to request reinstatement.
[Skip to Content Landing]
Views 1,568
Citations 0
Original Investigation
December 18, 2019

Association of Gray Matter and Personality Development With Increased Drunkenness Frequency During Adolescence

Author Affiliations
  • 1Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, Centre for Population Neuroscience and Stratified Medicine (PONS), King's College London, London, United Kingdom
  • 2Behavior and Basal Ganglia Unit (EA-4712), University of Rennes 1, Rennes, France
  • 3Pôle Hospitalo-Universitaire de Psychiatrie Adulte, Rennes, France
  • 4Social, Genetic, and Developmental Psychiatry Centre, King's College London, London, United Kingdom
  • 5U1228, Empenn, Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale & Institut National de Recherche en Informatique et Automatique, Paris, France
  • 6Institute of Science and Technology for Brain-Inspired Intelligence, Fudan University, Shanghai, China
  • 7State Key Laboratory of Medical Neurobiology, MOE Frontiers Center for Brain Science, Institute of Brain Science, Fudan University, Shanghai, China
  • 8Key Laboratory of Computational Neuroscience and Brain-Inspired Intelligence, Fudan University, Ministry of Education, Shanghai, China
  • 9Bio-X Institutes, Key Laboratory for the Genetics of Developmental and Neuropsychiatric Disorders, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China
  • 10Shanghai Center for Women and Children's Health, Shanghai, China
  • 11Shanghai Key Laboratory of Psychotic Disorders, Shanghai Institute of Mental Health, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China
  • 12Brain Science and Technology Research Center, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China
  • 13Department of Systems Neuroscience, University Medical Centre Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany
  • 14Departments of Psychiatry and Psychology, University of Vermont, Burlington
  • 15Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Central Institute of Mental Health, Medical Faculty Mannheim, Heidelberg University, Mannheim, Germany
  • 16School of Medicine and Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience, Discipline of Psychiatry, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
  • 17Department of Cognitive and Clinical Neuroscience, Central Institute of Mental Health, Medical Faculty Mannheim, Heidelberg University, Mannheim, Germany
  • 18Department of Psychology, School of Social Sciences, University of Mannheim, Mannheim, Germany
  • 19Sir Peter Mansfield Imaging Centre School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Nottingham, University Park, Nottingham, United Kingdom
  • 20Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Campus Charité Mitte, Charité, Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany
  • 21Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt, Braunschweig and Berlin, Berlin, Germany
  • 22Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale, INSERM Unit 1000 Neuroimaging & Psychiatry, Faculté de Médecine, Université Paris-Sud, Le Kremlin-Bicêtre, Sorbonne Paris Cité, Paris, France
  • 23Université Paris Descartes, Sorbonne Paris Cité, Paris, France
  • 24Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale, INSERM Unit 1000 Neuroimaging & Psychiatry, Université Paris-Sud, University Paris Descartes-Sorbonne Paris Citél, Paris, France
  • 25Assistance Publique des Hôpitaux de Paris, Department of Adolescent Psychopathology and Medicine, Maison de Solenn, Cochin Hospital, Paris, France
  • 26Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria
  • 27Department of Psychiatry and Neuroimaging Center, Technische Universität Dresden, Dresden, Germany
  • 28Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Campus Charité Mitte, Charité, Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Research Division of Mind and Brain Berlin, Berlin, Germany
  • 29Department of Psychology, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin, Ireland
  • 30Department of Psychiatry and Addictology, Medical Faculty, University of Montreal, Montréal, Québec, Canada
  • 31PONS Research Group, Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Campus Charité Mitte, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany
  • 32Leibniz Institute for Neurobiology, Magdeburg, Germany
JAMA Psychiatry. Published online December 18, 2019. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2019.4063
Key Points

Question  What is the directionality of the association between the increased frequency of drunkenness and gray matter development during adolescence?

Findings  In this cohort study of 726 adolescents enrolled in the IMAGEN European cohort, the 3 complementary approaches used (causal bayesian networks, temporality analyses, and exploration of exposure-response curves) suggested that accelerated gray matter atrophy in the frontal and posterior temporal cortices was associated with an increased risk for drunkenness.

Meaning  Findings from this study suggest that the neurotoxicity interpretation of the drinking-related acceleration of gray matter atrophy should be applied with caution.

Abstract

Importance  Alcohol abuse correlates with gray matter development in adolescents, but the directionality of this association remains unknown.

Objective  To investigate the directionality of the association between gray matter development and increase in frequency of drunkenness among adolescents.

Design, Setting, and Participants  This cohort study analyzed participants of IMAGEN, a multicenter brain imaging study of healthy adolescents in 8 European sites in Germany (Mannheim, Dresden, Berlin, and Hamburg), the United Kingdom (London and Nottingham), Ireland (Dublin), and France (Paris). Data from the second follow-up used in the present study were acquired from January 1, 2013, to December 31, 2016, and these data were analyzed from January 1, 2016, to March 31, 2018. Analyses were controlled for sex, site, socioeconomic status, family history of alcohol dependency, puberty score, negative life events, personality, cognition, and polygenic risk scores. Personality and frequency of drunkenness were assessed at age 14 years (baseline), 16 years (first follow-up), and 19 years (second follow-up). Structural brain imaging scans were acquired at baseline and second follow-up time points.

Main Outcomes and Measures  Increases in drunkenness frequency were measured by latent growth modeling, a voxelwise hierarchical linear model was used to observe gray matter volume, and tensor-based morphometry was used for gray matter development. The hypotheses were formulated before the data analyses.

Results  A total of 726 adolescents (mean [SD] age at baseline, 14.4 [0.38] years; 418 [58%] female) were included. The increase in drunkenness frequency was associated with accelerated gray matter atrophy in the left posterior temporal cortex (peak: t1,710 = –5.8; familywise error (FWE)–corrected P = 7.2 × 10−5; cluster: 6297 voxels; P = 2.7 × 10−5), right posterior temporal cortex (cluster: 2070 voxels; FWE-corrected P = .01), and left prefrontal cortex (peak: t1,710 = –5.2; FWE-corrected P = 2 × 10−3; cluster: 10 624 voxels; P = 1.9 × 10−7). According to causal bayesian network analyses, 73% of the networks showed directionality from gray matter development to drunkenness increase as confirmed by accelerated gray matter atrophy in late bingers compared with sober controls (n = 20 vs 60; β = 1.25; 95% CI, −2.15 to −0.46; t1,70 = 0.3; P = .004), the association of drunkenness increase with gray matter volume at age 14 years (β = 0.23; 95% CI, 0.01-0.46; t1,584 = 2; P = .04), the association between gray matter atrophy and alcohol drinking units (β = −0.0033; 95% CI, −6 × 10−3 to −5 × 10−4; t1,509 = −2.4; P = .02) and drunkenness frequency at age 23 years (β = −0.16; 95% CI, −0.28 to −0.03; t1,533 = −2.5; P = .01), and the linear exposure-response curve stratified by gray matter atrophy and not by increase in frequency of drunkenness.

Conclusions and Relevance  This study found that gray matter development and impulsivity were associated with increased frequency of drunkenness by sex. These results suggest that neurotoxicity-related gray matter atrophy should be interpreted with caution.

Limit 200 characters
Limit 25 characters
Conflicts of Interest Disclosure

Identify all potential conflicts of interest that might be relevant to your comment.

Conflicts of interest comprise financial interests, activities, and relationships within the past 3 years including but not limited to employment, affiliation, grants or funding, consultancies, honoraria or payment, speaker's bureaus, stock ownership or options, expert testimony, royalties, donation of medical equipment, or patents planned, pending, or issued.

Err on the side of full disclosure.

If you have no conflicts of interest, check "No potential conflicts of interest" in the box below. The information will be posted with your response.

Not all submitted comments are published. Please see our commenting policy for details.

Limit 140 characters
Limit 3600 characters or approximately 600 words
    ×