Background: The abuse of amphetamine-type stimulants has continued to increase, leading to new challenges to human health. However, the effects of the abuse of amphetamine-type stimulants on brain functional networks are unclear. The aim of the current study was to use resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI), a technique that is used to study the brain’s intrinsic functional organization, to characterize the brain functional
architecture influenced by amphetamine-type stimulant abuse.
Methods: The present study recruited seventeen male amphetamine-type stimulant abusers (ATSAs) and twenty-two healthy male controls. We used degree centrality (DC) and seed-based resting-state functional connectivity (RSFC) analyses to identify brain functional architecture differences between ATSAs and healthy controls (HCs).
Results: The ATSA group showed a decreased DC, especially in a large cluster including the right anterior, middle, and posterior insula. Furthermore, seed-based RSFC analyses revealed decreased functional connectivity in a network composed of the right posterior insula, medial prefrontal cortex, visual and sensorimotor cortices as well as in a network composed of the right middle insula and visual cortices in the ATSA group.
Conclusion: These results provide evidence that the resting-state brain functional architecture is disrupted in amphetamine-type stimulant abusers from a network perspective.