Research Topic

Neuroinflammation, Brain Energetics, and Substance Use

About this Research Topic

Substance use disorders (SUDs) are chronic, relapsing conditions, and a significant public health problem worldwide. Growing evidence from preclinical and human neuroimaging studies suggests that substance use and SUDs have been associated with impaired brain energetics, including low brain glucose metabolism, mitochondrial dysfunction and neuroinflammation, potentially leading to neurotoxicity and disrupted cognitive functioning. With an emphasis on neuroimaging studies, this Research Topic aims to combine original research and reviews on effects of substance use and SUD on brain inflammation and -energetics. Original research papers on the effects of anti-inflammatory drugs in SUD are encouraged.

Our goal is to highlight the current knowledge at the intersections of neuroinflammation, brain energetics, and substance use/SUD. Consequently, we aim to:
1) Draw attention to the existing gaps in knowledge concerning the interplay of all three areas;
2) Review evidence for disturbed brain energetics and inflammation in SUD; and compare effects of different substances of abuse (e.g., Positron Emission Tomography studies have shown elevated binding of the translocator protein (TSPO) in methamphetamine users, but lower binding in alcohol and nicotine users, compared to non-abusing controls)
3) Discuss how anti-inflammatory medications and/or therapeutics that can be used to target both brain and behavior in SUDs

Topics of particular interest include:
• 1H-MRS studies in SUDs or effects of substance use on brain metabolites, particularly related to inflammation and energetics (e.g., myo-inositol, choline, glutamate, GABA)
• Brain glucose metabolism in SUDs/ effects of substance use
• Neuroinflammation/microglia activation in SUDs/effects of substance use: preclinical studies, post-mortem studies, neuroimaging studies
• Mitochondrial dysfunction in SUDs/effects of substance use
• Effects of anti-inflammatory agents/immune modulators on brain and behavior in SUDs
• Effects of modulation of brain energetics in SUDs (e.g., dietary modulation)


Keywords: Neuroinflammation, Brain Energetics, Substance Use Disorder, Substance Abuse, Inflammation


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Substance use disorders (SUDs) are chronic, relapsing conditions, and a significant public health problem worldwide. Growing evidence from preclinical and human neuroimaging studies suggests that substance use and SUDs have been associated with impaired brain energetics, including low brain glucose metabolism, mitochondrial dysfunction and neuroinflammation, potentially leading to neurotoxicity and disrupted cognitive functioning. With an emphasis on neuroimaging studies, this Research Topic aims to combine original research and reviews on effects of substance use and SUD on brain inflammation and -energetics. Original research papers on the effects of anti-inflammatory drugs in SUD are encouraged.

Our goal is to highlight the current knowledge at the intersections of neuroinflammation, brain energetics, and substance use/SUD. Consequently, we aim to:
1) Draw attention to the existing gaps in knowledge concerning the interplay of all three areas;
2) Review evidence for disturbed brain energetics and inflammation in SUD; and compare effects of different substances of abuse (e.g., Positron Emission Tomography studies have shown elevated binding of the translocator protein (TSPO) in methamphetamine users, but lower binding in alcohol and nicotine users, compared to non-abusing controls)
3) Discuss how anti-inflammatory medications and/or therapeutics that can be used to target both brain and behavior in SUDs

Topics of particular interest include:
• 1H-MRS studies in SUDs or effects of substance use on brain metabolites, particularly related to inflammation and energetics (e.g., myo-inositol, choline, glutamate, GABA)
• Brain glucose metabolism in SUDs/ effects of substance use
• Neuroinflammation/microglia activation in SUDs/effects of substance use: preclinical studies, post-mortem studies, neuroimaging studies
• Mitochondrial dysfunction in SUDs/effects of substance use
• Effects of anti-inflammatory agents/immune modulators on brain and behavior in SUDs
• Effects of modulation of brain energetics in SUDs (e.g., dietary modulation)


Keywords: Neuroinflammation, Brain Energetics, Substance Use Disorder, Substance Abuse, Inflammation


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

22 July 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

22 July 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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