RISK TAKING STUDY
Studies show that a youth’s family history can impact adolescent brain structure and executive functioning.
This project explores the impact of this family history on reward based or risky decision making in adolescence. Additionally, studies show that the adolescent brain may be particularly vulnerable to alcohol’s neurotoxic effects, and that earlier use is associated with greater subsequent risk of addictive behaviors. Despite this, alcohol use is very common among adolescence. It is important to understand the impact of family history on the developing adolescent brain and to compare brain development in youth who do and do not use alcohol. This will help facilitate the creation of interventions aimed at reducing risky decision making and alcohol drinking behaviors that are targeted at specific age and risk groups.
Youth Ages: 11-16
Funding: Funded by NIH grants P60 AA010760 (pilot funds) and R01 AA017664
The National Consortium of Alcohol on NeuroDevelopment in Adolescence (N-CANDA) is a collaborative effort by several top researchers and research facilities across the country. This study aims to determine the effects of alcohol use on the developing adolescent brain, with the overlying purpose of understanding more about brain development more broadly. At each consortium visit site, including OHSU, youth and young adults will complete a baseline assessment and undergo three annual follow-up assessments in a longitudinal design. Both those who have and have not used alcohol or drugs will be included in this study.The examination of alcohol consequences will focus on structural and functional maturation of brain areas that are actively developing during adolescence, involved in psychological regulation, response to rewards, and thought to be vulnerable to toxic alcohol effects. Studied in the context of risk and baseline brain characteristics, we will determine both the effects of alcohol exposure on the developmental trajectory of the adolescent human brain, and identify preexisting psychobiological vulnerabilities that may put an adolescent at elevated risk for an alcohol use disorder or other forms of psychopathology.
Youth /Young Adult Ages: 12-21
Funding: Funded by NIAAA grant 1U01AA021691-01 (Nagel)