Decision making of heavy cannabis users on the Iowa Gambling Task: stronger association with THC of hair analysis than with personality traits of the Tridimensional Personality Questionnaire.

Department of Addictive Behavior and Addiction Medicine, Central Institute of Mental Health, Mannheim, Germany.
European Addiction Research (Impact Factor: 2.36). 02/2009; 15(2):94-8. DOI: 10.1159/000189788
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT It is unclear whether impairment in decision making, measured by the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT), in addiction is substance-induced or the consequence of personality structure.
Analysis of the IGT, the Tridimensional Personality Questionnaire (TPQ) and cannabinoids in hair and urine were performed in 13 cannabis users and matched controls.
Hair Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) correlated negatively with the last subtrial (cards 80-100) of the IGT (R = -0.67). In all participants (n = 26) the TPQ dimension, harm avoidance, correlated negatively with the total IGT score (R = -0.46). The last IGT-subtrial correlated with adventure seeking (R = 0.43), harm avoidance (R = -0.39) and reward dependence (R = -0.44). The last subtrial gives information on whether a participant has learned the IGT strategy. Multiple regression confirmed the impact of THC on the last subtrial, whereas TPQ personality traits did not additionally explain variance.
Former indications of the IGT performance depending on the amount of cannabis consumed were replicated with an objective measurement of chronic cannabis consumption (hair THC). Multiple regression analysis argues for a stronger impact of chronic THC consumption than personality traits, but does not provide a causal relationship. Other factors (e.g. genetic) may also play a role.

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