Researchers Link Alcohol-Dependence Impulsivity to Brain Anomalies
May 1, 2011
Researchers already know that alcohol dependence (AD) is strongly associated with impaired impulse control or, more precisely, the inability to choose large, delayed rewards rather than smaller but more immediate rewards. Findings from a study using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate the neural basis of impulsive choice among individuals with alcohol use disorders (AUDs) suggest that impulsive choice in AD may be the result of functional anomalies in widely distributed but interconnected brain regions that are involved in cognitive and emotional control.
Results will be published in the July 2011 issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research and are currently available at Early View.
“Individuals with AD score higher on questionnaires that measure impulsivity — for example, ‘I act without thinking’ — are less able to delay gratification, and are less able to inhibit responses,” said Eric D. Claus, a research scientist with The Mind Research Network and first author of the study…