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.
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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ABSTRACT: Decades of research have examined the effects of cannabis on neurocognition. Recent advances in this field provide us with a better understanding of how cannabis use influences neurocognition both acutely (during intoxication) and non-acutely (after acute effects subside). Evidence of problems with episodic memory is one of the most consistent findings reported; however, several other neurocognitive domains appear to be adversely affected by cannabis use under various conditions. There is significant variability in findings across studies, thus a discussion of potential moderators is increasingly relevant. The purpose of this review was to 1) provide an update on research of cannabis' acute and non-acute effects on neurocognition, with a focus on findings since 2007 and 2) suggest and discuss how neurodevelopmental issues and sex differences may influence cannabis effects on neurocognition. Finally we discuss how future investigations may lead to better understanding of the complex interplay among cannabis, stages of neurodevelopment, and sex on neurocognitive functioning.Neuropsychology Review 11/2012; · 6.42 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The present study used a monozygotic (MZ) cotwin-control (CTC) design to investigate associations between alcohol use and performance on the Iowa gambling task (IGT) in a sample of 96 adolescents (half female). The MZ CTC design is well suited to shed light on whether poor decision-making, as reflected on IGT performance, predisposes individuals to abuse substances or is a consequence of use. Participants completed structural MRI scans as well, from which we derived gray matter volumes for cortical and subcortical regions involved in IGT performance and reduced in adolescents with problematic alcohol use. Drinking was associated with poorer task performance and with reduced volume of the left lateral orbital-frontal cortex. CTC analyses indicated that the former was due to differences between members of twin pairs in alcohol use (suggesting a causal effect of alcohol), whereas the latter was due to factors shared by twins (consistent with a pre-existing vulnerability for use). Although these preliminary findings warrant replication, they suggest that normative levels of alcohol use may diminish the quality of adolescent decision-making and thus have potentially important public health implications.Behavior Genetics 03/2014; · 2.61 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The adverse effects of cannabis use on executive functions are still controversial, fostering the need for novel biomarkers able to unveil individual differences in the cognitive impact of cannabis consumption. Two common genetic polymorphisms have been linked to the neuroadaptive impact of THC exposure and to executive functions in animals: the COMT gene Val158Met polymorphism and the SLC6A4 gene 5-HTTLPR polymorphism. We aimed to test if these polymorphisms moderate the harmful effects of cannabis use on executive function in young cannabis users. We recruited 144 participants: 86 cannabis users and 58 non-drug user controls. Both groups were genotyped and matched for genetic makeup, sex, age, education and IQ. We used a computerized neuropsychological battery to assess different aspects of executive functions: sustained attention (CANTAB Rapid Visual Information Processing Test, RVIP), working memory (N-back), monitoring/shifting (CANTAB ID/ED set shifting), planning (CANTAB Stockings of Cambridge, SOC), and decision-making (Iowa Gambling Task, IGT). We used general linear model based analyses to test performance differences between cannabis users and controls as a function of genotypes. We found that: (i) daily cannabis use is not associated with executive function deficits; and (ii) COMT val158met and 5-HTTLPR polymorphisms moderate the link between cannabis use and executive performance. Cannabis users carrying the COMT val/val genotype exhibited lower accuracy of sustained attention, associated with a more strict response bias, than val/val non-users. Cannabis users carrying the COMT val allele also committed more monitoring/shifting errors than cannabis users carrying the met/met genotype. Finally, cannabis users carrying the 5-HTTLPR s/s genotype had worse IGT performance than s/s non-users. COMT and SLC6A4 genes moderate the impact of cannabis use on executive functions.Neuropsychopharmacology accepted article preview online, 28 February 2013; doi:10.1038/npp.2013.59.Neuropsychopharmacology: official publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology 02/2013; · 8.68 Impact Factor