Prefrontal cortical response to natural rewards and self-reported anhedonia are associated with greater craving among recently withdrawn patients in residential treatment for opioid use disorder

Daniel J. Petrie, Kyler S. Knapp, Christopher S. Freet, Erin Deneke, Timothy R. Brick, H. Harrington Cleveland, Scott C. Bunce

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Both anhedonia and craving are common among patients with opioid use disorder (OUD), and are associated with vulnerability to relapse. Although these constructs are theoretically linked relatively few studies have examined them together. In the current study, recently withdrawn patients (N = 71) in residential treatment for prescription OUD underwent a cue reactivity paradigm while being monitored with functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS). Patients also self-reported symptoms of anhedonia via the Snaith-Hamilton Pleasure Scale (SHAPS), while smartphone-based ecological momentary assessments (EMA) were used to measure craving levels. On average, lower right prefrontal cortex (PFC) activity in response to positive social stimuli was associated with higher craving (β = − 2.87; S.E. = 1.23; p = 0.02). Self-reported anhedonia moderated the association between PFC activity and craving (β = − 1.02; S.E. = 0.48; p = 0.04), such that patients with two or more anhedonic symptoms had a significant and stronger negative association between PFC activation to hedonically positive images and craving, compared to patients with fewer than two anhedonic symptoms, among whom the association was not significant. This finding provides evidence that higher levels of anhedonia among patients in residential treatment for OUD are associated with a stronger link between lower PFC response to positive social experiences and higher levels of craving, potentially increasing overall vulnerability to relapse.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)32-41
Number of pages10
JournalBrain Research Bulletin
Volume190
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Neuroscience

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