Peterson, H.; Mayhugh, R.E.; Bahrami, M.; Rejeski, W.J.; Simpson, S.L.; Heilman, K.; Porges, S.W.; Laurienti, P.J. Influence of Heart Rate Variability on Abstinence-Related Changes in Brain State in Everyday Drinkers. Brain Sci.2021, 11, 817.
Peterson, H.; Mayhugh, R.E.; Bahrami, M.; Rejeski, W.J.; Simpson, S.L.; Heilman, K.; Porges, S.W.; Laurienti, P.J. Influence of Heart Rate Variability on Abstinence-Related Changes in Brain State in Everyday Drinkers. Brain Sci. 2021, 11, 817.
Alcohol consumption is now common practice worldwide, and functional brain networks are beginning to reveal the complex interactions observed with alcohol consumption and abstinence. The autonomic nervous system (ANS) has a well-documented relationship with alcohol use, and a growing body of research is finding links between the ANS and functional brain networks. This study recruited everyday drinkers in an effort to uncover the relationship between alcohol abstinence, ANS function, and whole brain functional brain networks. Participants (n=29), 24-60 years-of-age, consumed moderate levels of alcohol regularly (males 2.4 (±0.26) drinks/day, females 2.3 (±0.96) drinks/day). ANS function, specifically cardiac vagal tone, was assessed using the Porges-Bohrer method for calculating respiratory sinus arrhythmia (PBRSA). Functional brain networks were generated from resting-state MRI scans obtained following 3-day periods of typical consumption and abstinence. A multi-task mixed-effects regression model determined the influences of HRV and drinking state on functional network connectivity. Results showed differences in the relationship between the strength of network connections and clustering coefficients across drinking states, moderated by PBRSA. Increases in connection strength between highly clustered nodes during abstinence as PBRSA increases demonstrates a greater possible range of topological configurations at high PBRSA values. This novel finding begins to shed light on the complex interactions between typical alcohol abstinence and physiological responses of the central and autonomic nervous system.
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