Article, 2024

The cortical thickness of tricenarian cocaine users assembles features of an octogenarian brain

In: Journal of Neuroscience Research, ISSN 0360-4012, Volume 102, 1, 10.1002/jnr.25287

Contributors (13)

Rothmann L.M. (0000-0001-5988-2368) [1] [2] Tondo L.P. (0000-0002-0086-4875) [2] Borelli W.V. [2] Esper N.B. (0000-0003-3218-9226) [3] Portolan E.T. [2] Franco A.R. [3] [4] [5] Portuguez M.W. [2] Ferreira P.E. (0000-0002-9571-0384) [2] Bittencourt A.M.L. [2] Soder R.B. [2] Viola T.W. (0000-0001-5446-1695) [2] da Costa J.C. [2] Grassi-Oliveira R. (0000-0001-9911-5921) (Corresponding author) [1] [2]


  1. [1] Aarhus University
  2. [NORA names: AU Aarhus University; University; Denmark; Europe, EU; Nordic; OECD]
  3. [2] Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul
  4. [NORA names: Brazil; America, South]
  5. [3] Child Mind Institute
  6. [NORA names: United States; America, North; OECD]
  7. [4] Nathan Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research
  8. [NORA names: United States; America, North; OECD]
  9. [5] New York University School of Medicine
  10. [NORA names: United States; America, North; OECD]


It has been suggested that substance use disorders could lead to accelerated biological aging, but only a few neuroimaging studies have investigated this hypothesis so far. In this cross-sectional study, structural neuroimaging was performed to measure cortical thickness (CT) in tricenarian adults with cocaine use disorder (CUD, n = 30) and their age-paired controls (YC, n = 30), and compare it with octogenarian elder controls (EC, n = 20). We found that CT in the right fusiform gyrus was similar between CUD and EC, thinner than the expected values of YC. We also found that regarding CT of the right inferior temporal gyrus, right inferior parietal cortex, and left superior parietal cortex, the CUD group exhibited parameters that fell in between EC and YC groups. Finally, CT of the right pars triangularis bordering with orbitofrontal gyrus, right superior temporal gyrus, and right precentral gyrus were reduced in CUD when contrasted with YC, but those areas were unrelated to CT of EC. Despite the 50-year age gap between our age groups, CT of tricenarian cocaine users assembles features of an octogenarian brain, reinforcing the accelerated aging hypothesis in CUD.


aging, cocaine, cortical thinning, frontal lobe, structural neuroimaging, temporal lobe


  • Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico
  • Jane Coffin Childs Memorial Fund for Medical Research
  • Russian Geographical Society
  • National Institutes of Health
  • Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado do Rio Grande do Sul