Imaging study reveals white-matter deficits in users of codeine-containing cough syrups

August 20, 2014

An imaging study of chronic users of codeine-containing cough syrups (CCS) has found deficits in specific regions of brain white matter and associates these changes with increased impulsivity in CCS users.

Researchers used diffusuion tensor imaging (DTI) (an MR imaging technique), coupled with fractional anisotropy, to investigate the integrity of chronic CCS users. Deficits were found in multiple regions of the brain, including the inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus, which other studies have found to be abnormal in other forms of addiction, such as addiction to the Internet, alcohol and heroin.

The study found the white matter deficits in CCS users also correlated with increased impulsivity traits in the subjects, as measured by the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale. These findings were consistent with results of previous studies of heroin and cocaine addicts. White matter disruptions also correlated with the duration of CCS use.

Codeine-containing cough syrups have become one of the most popular drugs of abuse in young people around the world. Progressive changes in the white matter of users' brains may cause greater in CCS users.

The study, titled "Abnormal White Matter Integrity in Chronic Users of Codeine-Containing Cough Syrups: A Tract-Based Spatial Statistics Study," was published this month on the website of the American Journal of Neuroradiology (AJNR) at http://dx.doi.org/10.3174/ajnr.A4070 and will be available in print in the January 2015 issue of the AJNR.

Explore further: Internet addiction disorder characterized by abnormal white matter integrity

Related Stories

White matter microstructural integrity altered in T1DM

November 15, 2012

(HealthDay)—Youth with type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) exhibit a pattern of regional diffusion tensor imaging differences that is suggestive of axonal injury or degeneration and may be related to episodes of severe hypoglycemia, ...

Schizophrenia: It's in the wiring of the brain

September 16, 2013

Just as wires must be insulated to effectively carry electrical impulses, nerve cells must be insulated by myelin to effectively transmit neural impulses. Using typical magnetic resonance imaging or MRI, one can visually ...

Addiction: Can you ever really completely leave it behind?

September 23, 2013

It is often said that once people develop an addiction, they can never completely eliminate their attraction to the abused substance. New findings provide further support for this notion by suggesting that even long-term ...

Inside the brains of addicts

November 6, 2013

Eating a good meal, a compliment on a new outfit, your team winning the football game – all these things make you feel good, and that's thanks to your brain's reward system.

Recommended for you

Self-control saps memory, study says

August 26, 2015

You're driving on a busy road and you intend to switch lanes when you suddenly realize that there's a car in your blind spot. You have to put a stop to your lane change—and quickly.

Jammed up cellular highways may initiate dementia and ALS

August 26, 2015

Johns Hopkins researchers say they have discovered some of the first steps in how a very common gene mutation causes the brain damage associated with both amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD).

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.