Increased neural activity in the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex during a risky decision-making task is associated with cocaine use in methadone-maintained patients

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Abstract

Background: Methadone maintenance is an effective treatment for opioid use disorder (OUD), yet many methadone-maintained patients (MMPs) struggle with cocaine use during OUD recovery. The current study aimed to identify whether prefrontal cortex (PFC) activity during a risky decision-making task was associated with cocaine use during a 90-day follow-up in MMPs. Methods: MMPs (N = 28) attended a single neuroimaging session wherein PFC activity was measured using functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) during the Balloon Analogue Risk Task (BART). Trait impulsivity was assessed via the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale version 11 (BIS-11). Following the neuroimaging session, MMPs were tracked via electronic health records for 90 days to determine treatment outcomes including cocaine use verified by urine drug screens. Results: During the BART, MMPs who used cocaine displayed increased neural activity in the right PFC during active decision-making (F1, 22 = 14.75, p = 0.001) and the right dorsolateral PFC during active minus passive decision-making (F1, 22 = 5.56, p = 0.028) compared to participants who did not use cocaine. Receiver operating characteristic curves confirmed that neural activity in the right PFC during active decision-making (AUC = 0.841, 95% CI, 0.697-0.985, p = 002), and in the right dorsolateral PFC during active minus passive decision-making (AUC = 0.805, 95% CI, 0.643-0.968, p = 0.006) was associated with continued cocaine use. MMPs who used cocaine versus those who did not reported increased trait impulsivity on the BIS-11 Total Score (t=-2.28, p = 0.031). Conclusions: The fNIRS device is portable, relatively easy to use, and potentially feasible for use in methadone outpatient programs to assess propensity for negative treatment outcomes such as continued cocaine use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number107650
JournalDrug and alcohol dependence
Volume205
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019

Keywords

  • Cocaine use
  • Functional near-infrared spectroscopy
  • Methadone
  • Neuroimaging
  • Opioid use disorder
  • Treatment outcomes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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