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Abstract #4461

Altered Prefrontal-Amygdala Structural Connectivity in Adolescents Prenatally Exposed to Cocaine

Priya Santhanam1, Zhihao Li1, Longchuan Li1, Claire Coles2, Mary Ellen Lynch2, Xiaoping Hu1

1Department of Biomedical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology/Emory University, Atlanta, GA, United States; 2Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Emory University

As prenatal cocaine exposure (PCE) is known to affect emotional regulation, and since we have previously shown a functional disconnect in the PCE group between regions responsible for such regulation (VMPFC: ventral medial prefrontal cortex and bilateral amygdala), the present study examined the effect of PCE on structural connectivity between the VMPFC and amygdala. Using probabilistic tractography to identify tracts, results showed significantly lower tract volume and FA along the tracts connecting the VMPFC and left amygdala in the PCE group versus controls. This reduced structural integrity may affect functional connectivity and thus emotional regulation in individuals with PCE.