In response to RFA-AA-12-006, this application proposes the Administrative Component of the National Consortium on Alcohol and Neurodevelopment in Adolescence (N-CANDA), located at UCSD, to determine the effects of alcohol use on the developing adolescent brain. This consortium was designed to provide a nationally representative sample of adolescents and to integrate the diverse scientific expertise and research experience with youth represented by researchers at each site. As such, the following applications should be considered jointly: N-CANDA: Administrative Component, UCSD (PI: Sandra Brown PhD (Contact), Susan Tapert PhD) N-CANDA: Data Component, SRI (PI: Adolf Pfefferbaum, M.D.) N-CANDA: Duke (PI: Michael DeBellis, M.D.) N-CANDA: Pittsburgh (PI: Duncan Clark, Ph.D., M.D.) N-CANDA: SRI (PIs: Ian Colrain, Ph.D. (Contact) and Fiona Baker, Ph.D.) N-CANDA: UCSD (PI: Susan Tapert, Ph.D.) Recruited at ages 12 through 21, a high-risk enhanced community sample of 680 subjects will complete a baseline assessment then undergo three annual follow-up assessments in an accelerated longitudinal design. At each visit, a multimodal MRI protocol, comprehensive neuropsychological battery, and assessment of alcohol use and related problems, along with other substance involvement, mental health symptoms, and other risk factors, will be measured. Brain imaging uses state-of-the-art high-resolution structural MRI (sMRI), diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), resting state MRI (rsMRI), and an anti-saccade or Stroop functional MRI task to capitalize on local expertise. 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, responsive to rewards, and thought to be vulnerable to toxic alcohol effects.
Five aims specified in the RFA will be systematically tested with a focus on adolescent substance use and neuromaturational trajectories. Each of the four Research Components will collaborate with another site on two additional aims. Examined in the context of risks 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 greater risk for an alcohol use disorder.

Public Health Relevance

Successful completion of the above aims will demonstrate that adolescent alcohol involvement disrupts brain development. This project represents a critical step in understanding neurobiological risks for accelerated alcohol use and alcohol effects on brain development in adolescence.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
Research Project--Cooperative Agreements (U01)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZAA1-CC (06))
Program Officer
Noronha, Antonio
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
University of California San Diego
Schools of Medicine
La Jolla
United States
Zip Code
Pohl, Kilian M; Sullivan, Edith V; Rohlfing, Torsten et al. (2016) Harmonizing DTI measurements across scanners to examine the development of white matter microstructure in 803 adolescents of the NCANDA study. Neuroimage 130:194-213
de Zambotti, Massimiliano; Willoughby, Adrian R; Franzen, Peter L et al. (2016) K-Complexes: Interaction between the Central and Autonomic Nervous Systems during Sleep. Sleep 39:1129-37
Sullivan, Edith V; Brumback, Ty; Tapert, Susan F et al. (2016) Cognitive, emotion control, and motor performance of adolescents in the NCANDA study: Contributions from alcohol consumption, age, sex, ethnicity, and family history of addiction. Neuropsychology 30:449-73
de Zambotti, Massimiliano; Baker, Fiona C; Colrain, Ian M (2015) Validation of Sleep-Tracking Technology Compared with Polysomnography in Adolescents. Sleep 38:1461-8
Brumback, Ty; Squeglia, Lindsay M; Jacobus, Joanna et al. (2015) Adolescent heavy drinkers' amplified brain responses to alcohol cues decrease over one month of abstinence. Addict Behav 46:45-52
Nguyen-Louie, Tam T; Castro, Norma; Matt, Georg E et al. (2015) Effects of Emerging Alcohol and Marijuana Use Behaviors on Adolescents' Neuropsychological Functioning Over Four Years. J Stud Alcohol Drugs 76:738-48
Brown, Sandra A; Brumback, Ty; Tomlinson, Kristin et al. (2015) The National Consortium on Alcohol and NeuroDevelopment in Adolescence (NCANDA): A Multisite Study of Adolescent Development and Substance Use. J Stud Alcohol Drugs 76:895-908
Winward, Jennifer L; Hanson, Karen L; Bekman, Nicole M et al. (2014) Adolescent heavy episodic drinking: neurocognitive functioning during early abstinence. J Int Neuropsychol Soc 20:218-29
Li, Wei; Wu, Bing; Batrachenko, Anastasia et al. (2014) Differential developmental trajectories of magnetic susceptibility in human brain gray and white matter over the lifespan. Hum Brain Mapp 35:2698-713
Squeglia, Lindsay M; Rinker, Daniel A; Bartsch, Hauke et al. (2014) Brain volume reductions in adolescent heavy drinkers. Dev Cogn Neurosci 9:117-25

Showing the most recent 10 out of 12 publications