Sadeghi, A.Z., Amir Homayoun, J., Oghabian, M.A., Salighehrad, H.R., Batouli, S.A.H.,Raminfard, S., Ekhtiari, H.
Introduction: Various treatment methods for drug abusers will result in different success rates. This is partly due to different neural assumptions and partly due to various rate of relapse in abusers because of different circumstances. Investigating the brain activation networks of treated subjects can reveal the hidden mechanisms of the therapeutic methods.
Methods: We studied three groups of subjects: heroin abusers treated with abstinent based therapy (ABT) method, heroin abusers treated with Methadone Maintenance Therapy (MMT) method, and a control group. They were all scanned with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), using a 6-block task, where each block consisted of the rest-craving-rest-neutral sequence. Using the dynamic causal modeling (DCM) algorithm, brain effective connectivity network (caused by the drug craving stimulation) was quantified for all groups. In this regard, 4 brain areas were selected for this analysis based on previous findings: ventromedial prefrontal cortex (VMPFC), dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), amygdala, and ventral striatum.