Co-occurring traumatic brain injury (TBI) and substance misuse/abuse is a common, growing international health concern. While it is well established that drug/alcohol intoxication can increase probability of TBI, much less is known regarding how TBI might affect functional outcomes related to maladaptive substance misuse/abuse, which is the focus of the current panel. The panel will cover a broad range of TBI modalities (e.g. mild, moderate, blast-induced) and multiple classes of abused substances (e.g. alcohol and opioids). Likewise, data presented will represent those from animal models as well as from clinical participant studies. Discussion will center on functional outcomes as they relate to co-occurring TBI and substance abuse, and will span a variety of experiential techniques and outcome measures. Presenters will explore the influence of TBI on the rewarding/motivational, stimulating, and sedative effects of abused substances. Likewise, presenters will provide insight into potential underlying mechanisms of TBI-induced dysfunction as it relates to dopamine signaling, mu opioid receptor dynamics, and structural and functional neuroimaging correlates. Together these talks aim to describe the functional outcomes and complexities associated with co-occurring TBI and substance misuse/abuse, as well as highlight new avenues for diagnosis and treatment interventions.
At the conclusion of this session, attendees will be able to: