Nicotine and alcohol abuse can cause reduced subcortical brain volume — but is it reversible?

The British Journal of PsychiatryScott Cunningham MD PhD, et al. | June 28, 2022



Substance abusers commonly have co-morbid behavioral and psychiatric disorders, including externalization, anxiety, and depression, which in turn are associated with dysregulated subcortical circuitry.

Genome-wide association studies of subcortical brain volumes, and cigarette smoking and alcohol use were analyzed with inverse-variance weighted regression.

Alcohol abuse was associated with decreased amygdala and hippocampus volumes, and heavy cigarette smoke was associated with decreased hippocampus volume.