Brain modifications after acute alcohol consumption analyzed by resting state fMRI

Federica Spagnolli, Roberto Cerini, Nicolò Cardobi, Marco Barillari, Paolo Manganotti, Silvia Storti, Roberto Pozzi Mucelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) is a recent breakthrough in neuroimaging research able to describe "in vivo" the spontaneous baseline neuronal activity characterized by blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) signal fluctuations at slow frequency (0.01-0.1. Hz) that, in the absence of any task, forms spatially distributed functional connectivity networks, called resting state networks (RSNs). The aim of this study was to investigate, in the young and healthy population, the changing of the RSNs after acute ingestion of an alcohol dose able to determine a blood concentration (0.5. g/L) that barely exceeds the legal limits for driving in the majority of European Countries. Fifteen healthy volunteers underwent two fMRI sessions using a 1.5. T MR scanner before and after alcohol oral consumption. The main sequence acquired was EPI 2D BOLD, one per each session. To prevent the excessive alcohol consumption the subjects underwent the estimation of blood rate by breath test and after the stabilization of blood alcohol level (BAL) at 0.5. g/L the subjects underwent the second fMRI session. Functional data elaboration was carried out using the probabilistic independent component analysis (PICA). Spatial maps so obtained were further organized, with MELODIC multisession temporal concatenation FSL option, in a cluster representing the group of pre-alcohol sessions and the group of post-alcohol sessions, followed by the dual regression approach in order to evaluate the increase or decrease in terms of connectivity in the RSNs between the two sessions at group level.The results we obtained reveal that acute consumption of alcohol reduces in a significant way the BOLD signal fluctuations in the resting brain selectively in the sub-callosal cortex (SCC), in left temporal fusiform cortex (TFC) and left inferior temporal gyrus (ITG), which are cognitive regions known to be part of the reward brain network and the ventral visual system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1325-1330
Number of pages6
JournalMagnetic Resonance Imaging
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2013


  • Alcohol
  • FMRI
  • Independent component analysis
  • Resting state
  • Reward brain circuitry
  • Visual system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Biomedical Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Brain modifications after acute alcohol consumption analyzed by resting state fMRI'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this