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Modulation of Attentional Bias to Drug and Affective Cues by Therapeutic and Neuropsychological Factors in Patients With Opioid Use Disorder on Methadone Maintenance Therapy
Frontiers in Psychiatry, Volume: 12
Swansea University Author: Kathrin Weidacker
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Copyright © 2022 Li, Huang, Zhang, Weidacker, Li, Voon, Wang and Zhang. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY)Download (1.49MB)
DOI (Published version): 10.3389/fpsyt.2021.780208
Objective: Abnormal selective attention to drug cues and negative affect is observed in patients with substance dependence, and it is closely associated with drug addiction and relapse. Methadone maintenance is an effective replacement therapy to treat heroin addiction, which significantly reduces t...
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Objective: Abnormal selective attention to drug cues and negative affect is observed in patients with substance dependence, and it is closely associated with drug addiction and relapse. Methadone maintenance is an effective replacement therapy to treat heroin addiction, which significantly reduces the relapse rate. The present study examines whether the patients with opioid use disorder on chronic methadone maintenance therapy exhibit abnormal attentional bias to drug cues and negative-affective cues. Moreover, its relation to therapeutic and neuropsychological factors is also examined.Methods: Seventy-nine patients with opioid use disorder under chronic methadone maintenance therapy and 73 age-, sex-, and education-matched healthy controls were recruited and assessed for attentional bias to drug cues and negative affect using a dot-probe detection task. Correlational analysis was used to examine the relationships between the attentional bias and the demographic, therapeutic, and neuropsychological factors.Results: No significant overall patient-control group difference is observed in drug-related or negative-affective-related attentional bias scores. In the patient group, however, a significant negative correlation is found between the attentional bias scores to negative-affective cues and the duration of methadone treatment (p = 0.027), with the patients receiving longer methadone treatment showing less attentional avoidance to negative-affective cues. A significant positive correlation is found between the negative affect-induced bias and the impulsivity score (p = 0.006), with more impulsive patients showing higher attentional avoidance to negative affective cues than less impulsive patients. Additionally, the patients detect a smaller percentage of probe stimuli following the drug (p = 0.029) or negative-affective pictures (p = 0.009) than the healthy controls.Conclusion: The results of the present study indicate that the patients under chronic methadone maintenance therapy show normalized attentional bias to drug and negative-affective cues, confirming the involuntary attention of the patients is not abnormally captured by external drug or negative-affective clues. Our findings also highlight that the attentional avoidance of negative-affective cues is modulated by the duration of methadone treatment and the impulsivity level in the patients.
opioid addiction, methadone maintenance therapy, attentional bias, treatment duration, impulsivity,heroin
Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life Sciences
CZ was supported by the fellowship of the Shanghai Research Center for Brain Science and Brain-Inspired Intelligence and Shanghai Clinical Research Center for Mental Health (19MC1911100). VV was supported by Medical Research Council Senior Clinical Fellowship (MR/P008747/1).