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ABSTRACT: Cocaine dependence follows a different disease course in men and women, possibly as a consequence of sex-specific neurobiologic responses to chronic cocaine use. We have previously reported that male cocaine-dependent subjects demonstrate a significantly different limbic response to the limbic-stimulus procaine, as measured by regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF), compared with male controls. In this study, we assessed the limbic rCBF response to procaine in female cocaine-addicted subjects (n=10) and female controls (n=10).
Subjects were administered 1.38 mg/kg procaine or saline intravenously in two separate sessions. Single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) was used to compare the rCBF response to procaine.
Female cocaine-dependent subjects demonstrate a markedly muted, and distinctly different, limbic response to procaine compared with matched healthy controls.
The rCBF response to procaine in female cocaine-dependent subjects suggests significant CNS differences compared with non-addicted female controls. Coupled with findings previously observed in male cocaine-dependent subjects, these biologic differences suggest that both male and female subjects experience alterations in limbic responsiveness following the chronic use of cocaine.
Drug and Alcohol Dependence 10/2003; 71(3):255-68. · 3.14 Impact Factor