Valerie A. Cardenas

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BACKGROUND Previous MRI studies of bipolar disorder have failed to consistently demonstrate cortical gray or cerebral white matter tissue loss, as well as sulcal or ventricular enlargement. The inconsistencies are most likely due to the clinical and gender heterogeneity of the study populations as well as the different MRI acquisition and processing(More)
Most prior studies of the effects of excessive alcohol intake on the adolescent brain examined alcohol-use-dependent samples with comorbid psychiatric and substance use disorders. In the Cape Town region, we identified a sizeable cohort of adolescents with alcohol use disorders (AUD) without externalizing or other psychiatric disorders. We examined brain(More)
Alcoholism is characterized by a lack of control over excessive alcohol consumption despite significant negative consequences. This impulsive and compulsive behavior may be related to functional abnormalities within networks of brain regions responsible for how we make decisions. The abnormalities may result in strengthened networks related to appetitive(More)
Alcoholism is characterized by a lack of control over an impulsive and compulsive drive toward excessive alcohol consumption despite significant negative consequences; our previous work demonstrated that successful abstinence is characterized by decreased resting-state synchrony (RSS) as measured with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), within(More)
OBJECTIVE To validate an automated cerebellar segmentation method based on active shape and appearance modeling and then segment the cerebellum on images acquired from adolescents with histories of prenatal alcohol exposure (PAE) and non-exposed controls (NC). METHODS Automated segmentations of the total cerebellum, right and left cerebellar hemispheres,(More)
Previous neuroimaging studies link both alcohol use disorder (AUD) and early adversity to neurobiological differences in the adult brain. However, the association between AUD and childhood adversity and effects on the developing adolescent brain are less clear, due in part to the confound of psychiatric comorbidity. Here we examine early life adversity and(More)
BACKGROUND Previous studies have indicated that early life adversity, genetic factors and alcohol dependence are associated with reduced brain volume in adolescents. However, data on the interactive effects of early life adversity, genetic factors (e.g. p.Met66 allele of BDNF), and alcohol dependence, on brain structure in adolescents is limited. We(More)
Although the human cerebellum has been increasingly identified as an important hub that shows potential for helping in the diagnosis of a large spectrum of disorders, such as alcoholism, autism, and fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, the high costs associated with manual segmentation, and low availability of reliable automated cerebellar segmentation tools,(More)
OBJECTIVE The objective of this study is to examine white matter microstructure using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) in a sample of adolescents with alcohol use disorders (AUD) and no psychiatric or substance co-morbidity. METHODS Fifty adolescents with AUD and fifty non-alcohol abusing controls matched on gender and age were studied with DTI,(More)
Alcoholism is characterized by a lack of control over excessive alcohol consumption despite significant negative consequences. This impulsive and compulsive behavior may be related to functional abnormalities within networks of brain regions responsible for how we make decisions. The abnormalities may result in strengthened networks related to appetitive(More)