Neuropsychological performance of recently abstinent alcoholics and cocaine abusers.
ABSTRACT To examine possible influences of premorbid and comorbid factors on the neuropsychological test performance of recently abstinent (3-5 weeks) drug abusers, we studied 24 alcoholics, 23 cocaine abusers, and 22 healthy controls of comparable age and education. Both alcoholics and cocaine abusers performed significantly more poorly than controls on most measures of learning and memory, problem solving and abstraction and perceptual-motor speed, but the groups did not differ on the measure of sustained attention. Correlational analyses revealed no significant relationships between measures of childhood and residual hyperactivity and neuropsychological performance; scores on the Beck Depression Inventory were related only to performance on the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test. The findings indicate that abuse of cocaine or alcohol is associated with deficits on neuropsychological tests which cannot be attributed to specific premorbid or comorbid factors such as depression or childhood or residual attention deficit disorder.
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ABSTRACT: Crack cocaine use is associated with impaired verbal memory in HIV-infected women more than uninfected women. To understand the neural basis for this impairment, this study examined the effects of crack cocaine use on activation of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and strategic encoding during a verbal memory task in HIV-infected women. Three groups of HIV-infected women from the Chicago Consortium of the Women's Interagency HIV Study were compared: current users of crack cocaine (n = 10), former users of cocaine (n = 11), and women who had never used cocaine (n = 9). Participants underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging during a verbal memory task and completed a neuropsychological test of verbal memory. On the neuropsychological test, current crack users performed significantly worse than other groups on semantic clustering, a measure of strategic encoding, p < 0.05. During encoding, activation in left anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) was lower in current and former cocaine users compared to never users. During recognition, activation in bilateral PFC, specifically left dorsal medial PFC and bilateral dorsolateral PFC, was lower in current and former users compared to women who had never used cocaine. Lower activation in left dorsolateral PFC was correlated with worse performance on the recognition task, p < 0.05. The verbal learning and memory deficits associated with cocaine use in women with HIV may be partially accounted for by alterations in ACC and PFC function.Journal of NeuroVirology 04/2014; 20(4). DOI:10.1007/s13365-014-0250-x · 3.32 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: We wished to investigate whether source memory judgements are adversely affected by recreational illicit drug use. Sixty-two ecstasy/polydrug users and 75 non ecstasy users completed a source memory task, in which they tried to determine whether or not a word had been previously presented and if so, attempted to recall the format, location and temporal position in which the word had occurred. While not differing in terms of the number of hits and false positive responses, ecstasy/polydrug users adopted a more liberal decision criterion when judging if a word had been presented previously. With regard to source memory, users were less able to determine the format in which words had been presented (upper versus lower case). Female users did worse than female nonusers in determining which list (first or second) a word was from. Unexpectedly, the current frequency of cocaine use was negative associated with list and case source memory performance. Given the role that source memory plays in everyday cognition, those who use cocaine more frequently might have more difficulty in everyday tasks such as recalling the sources of crucial information or making use of contextual information as an aid to learning. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.Human Psychopharmacology Clinical and Experimental 03/2014; 29(2). DOI:10.1002/hup.2385 · 1.85 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Alcohol and other drug dependencies are, in part, character ized by deficits in executive functioning, including working memory. Working-memory training is a candidate computer ized adjunctive intervention for the treatment of alcoholism and other drug dependencies. This article reviews emerging evidence for computerized working memory training as an efficacious adjunctive treatment for drug dependence and highlights future challenges and opportunities in the field of working-memory training, including duration of training needed, persistence of improvements and utility of booster sessions, and selection of patients based on degree of deficits.