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Abstract #1241

Reduced Amygdala Volume in Smokers

Florian Schubert1, Simone Khn2, Ralf Mekle1, Jrgen Gallinat3, Bernd Ittermann1

1Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt, Berlin, Germany; 2MPI for Human Development, Berlin, Germany; 3Charite University Medicine, Berlin, Germany

Nicotine initiates synaptic and cellular changes which may lead to structural brain alterations. We measured the amygdala volume of 25 smokers, 25 ex-smokers and 26 never-smokers using high-resolution T1-weighted MR imaging at 3T and Freesurfer volumetry, and explored the results for relationships with respect to smoking behavior. The amygdala (both sides) was significantly larger in never-smokers than in ex-smokers and smokers. The total amygdala volume was significantly reduced with increasing number of pack years. These results indicate a possible loss of amygdala volume in subjects with a smoking history and point to a structural involvement of the amygdala in addiction.