Keihani, A., Ekhtiari, H., Batouli, S.A.H., Shahbabaie, A., Sadighi,N., Mirmohammad, M., Oghabian, M.A.
Background: In recent years, a few studies have addressed the effect of chronic heroin use on brain structure with respect to volume
and shape; however, the literature in this field is sparse and further studies are necessary to generate robust replications.
Objectives: In this study, we intended to assess gray matter density (GMD) differences between successfully abstinent heroin dependents and healthy subjects. Indirect evidences for the causal role of drug use in the GMD differences are also targeted here by
testing the hypothesis on the correlation between GMD differences and duration of drug use.
Patients and Methods: Using structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and voxel-based morphology (VBM) technique,
changes in gray matter volume and density were evaluated in 18 abstinent heroin dependents and 20 age-, education- and gendermatched healthy subjects. Heroin dependents were allmale, and at least 3months successfully abstinent (mean abstinence duration
= 9.2 ± 5.2 months).