The Neuropsychology of Cocaine Addiction: Recent Cocaine Use Masks Impairment

Brookhaven National Laboratory, Medical Department, Upton, NY 11973-5000, USA.
Neuropsychopharmacology: official publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology (Impact Factor: 7.83). 06/2008; 34(5):1112-22. DOI: 10.1038/npp.2008.60
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Individuals with current cocaine use disorders (CUD) form a heterogeneous group, making sensitive neuropsychological (NP) comparisons with healthy individuals difficult. The current study examined the effects on NP functioning of four factors that commonly vary among CUD: urine status for cocaine (positive vs negative on study day), cigarette smoking, alcohol consumption, and dysphoria. Sixty-four cocaine abusers were matched to healthy comparison subjects on gender and race; the groups also did not differ in measures of general intellectual functioning. All subjects were administered an extensive NP battery measuring attention, executive function, memory, facial and emotion recognition, and motor function. Compared with healthy control subjects, CUD exhibited performance deficits on tasks of attention, executive function, and verbal memory (within one standard deviation of controls). Although CUD with positive urine status, who had higher frequency and more recent cocaine use, reported greater symptoms of dysphoria, these cognitive deficits were most pronounced in the CUD with negative urine status. Cigarette smoking, frequency of alcohol consumption, and dysphoria did not alter these results. The current findings replicate a previously reported statistically significant, but relatively mild NP impairment in CUD as compared with matched healthy control individuals and further suggest that frequent/recent cocaine use [corrected] may mask underlying cognitive (but not mood) disturbances. These results call for development of pharmacological agents targeted to enhance cognition, without negatively impacting mood in individuals addicted to cocaine.

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Available from: Gene-Jack Wang, Apr 13, 2015
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    • "Autism spectrum disorders are associated with a global impairment of the 3 attentional networks (Keehn et al., 2013). Moreover, recent studies described altered performance related to the executive attention network among cocaine (Woicik et al., 2009) and cannabis (Abdullaev et al., 2010) abusers. These studies clearly showed the high interest of the ANT to better understand the differential attentional deficits in psychopathological states, and notably in addictions. "
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    Alcoholism Clinical and Experimental Research 05/2014; 38:2105-2112. DOI:10.1093/alcalc/agu053.6 · 3.31 Impact Factor
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    • "Human cocaine users generally show deficits in a number of cognitive domains, including verbal memory, working memory, and executive function (Lundqvist, 2005). Additionally, these cognitive deficits are diminished in individuals that have recently abused cocaine (Woicik et al., 2009). This suggests that cognitive deficits may be an effect of withdrawal from cocaine exposure. "
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    Neurobiology of Learning and Memory 12/2013; 112. DOI:10.1016/j.nlm.2013.12.002 · 4.04 Impact Factor
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    • "The abstinence was verified by self-report and supervised by the clinical staff of the inpatient units. For the majority of these patients (n = 39, 56.5%), two urine tests were used to verify recent cocaine-use (if positive) and after to verify their abstinence (if negative), since recent cocaine-use may mask cognitive impairments in CDI (39). The neurocognitive performance of the CDI was compared to a control group which consisted of 32 healthy individuals, who were volunteers, recruited in the city of São Paulo. "
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