Association between functional brain alterations and neuropsychological scales in male chronic smokers using resting-state fMRI

Jun Cheng Weng, Shih Yu Huang, Ming Shih Lee, Ming Chou Ho*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

7 Scopus citations


Rationale: Recent studies have demonstrated that cigarette smoking is related to changes in brain structure and function. However, few studies focus on functional brain differences between male chronic smokers and nonsmokers in both local spontaneous activity and whole-brain functional networks. Objectives: Our study recruited 67 chronic smokers and 43 nonsmokers who underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scans to investigate functional activity and connectivity alterations in chronic smokers. Methods: We used the mean fractional amplitude of the low-frequency fluctuation (mfALFF) and mean regional homogeneity (mReHo) methods to investigate resting-state spontaneous activity in chronic smokers and nonsmokers. The graph theoretical analysis (GTA) and network-based statistical (NBS) analysis were also used to investigate functional connectivity alterations. Results: Compared with nonsmokers, chronic smokers exhibited higher activation in the reward system and portions of the prefrontal cortex but lower activation in the default mode networks (DMN) and visual-related regions. In addition, correlation analysis was conducted to assess the associations between neuroimaging findings and the severity of nicotine dependence or expectations of smoking effects. Our results showed that certain brain regions correlated with the Fagerström Test for Nicotine Dependence (FTND), the positive aspect of the Drug Use Disorders Identification Test Extended (DUDIT-E), and the negative aspect of the DUDIT-E, especially in the attentional control networks and hippocampus. The graph theoretical analysis (GTA) results indicated chronic smokers exhibited a trend toward increased assortativity. Our network-based statistical (NBS) analysis revealed reduced functional connections between the subnetwork in the prefrontal cortex, olfactory cortex, angular gyrus, and cingulate gyrus of chronic smokers. Conclusions: We concluded that chronic smokers have neural adaptations in local spontaneous activity but remain healthy brain functional networks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1387-1399
Number of pages13
Issue number5
StatePublished - 05 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.


  • Chronic smokers
  • Drug Use Disorders Identification Test Extended (DUDIT-E)
  • Fagerström Test for Nicotine Dependence (FTND)
  • Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI)
  • Graph theoretical analysis (GTA)
  • Network-based statistical (NBS) analysis


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