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Cognitive dysfunctions in recreational and dependent cocaine users: role of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, craving and early age at onset


Vonmoos, Matthias; Hulka, Lea M; Preller, Katrin H; Baumgartner, Markus R; Stohler, Rudolf; Bolla, Karen I; Quednow, Boris B (2013). Cognitive dysfunctions in recreational and dependent cocaine users: role of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, craving and early age at onset. British Journal of Psychiatry, 203(1):35-43.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Dependent cocaine users consistently display cognitive deficits but cognitive performance of recreational cocaine users has rarely been investigated. AIMS: To examine whether cognitive performance is impaired in relatively pure recreational and dependent cocaine users. METHOD: The cognitive performance of recreational (n = 68) and dependent cocaine users (n = 30) was compared with the performance of stimulant-naive controls (n = 68) employing an extensive neuropsychological test battery. Moreover, the impact of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms, craving and early age at onset was analysed. RESULTS: Dependent cocaine users display broad cognitive impairments in the domains of attention, working memory, declarative memory and executive functions. The performance of recreational cocaine users in all four domains was intermediate between that of controls and dependent users and they displayed significant deficits foremost in the domains of attention and working memory. In addition, ADHD symptoms, craving and age at onset were important modulators of cognitive function in cocaine users. CONCLUSIONS: Cognitive deficits occur at a recreational and non-dependent level of cocaine use. Cocaine use and ADHD seem to have mutually aggravating effects on cognitive impairment.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Dependent cocaine users consistently display cognitive deficits but cognitive performance of recreational cocaine users has rarely been investigated. AIMS: To examine whether cognitive performance is impaired in relatively pure recreational and dependent cocaine users. METHOD: The cognitive performance of recreational (n = 68) and dependent cocaine users (n = 30) was compared with the performance of stimulant-naive controls (n = 68) employing an extensive neuropsychological test battery. Moreover, the impact of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms, craving and early age at onset was analysed. RESULTS: Dependent cocaine users display broad cognitive impairments in the domains of attention, working memory, declarative memory and executive functions. The performance of recreational cocaine users in all four domains was intermediate between that of controls and dependent users and they displayed significant deficits foremost in the domains of attention and working memory. In addition, ADHD symptoms, craving and age at onset were important modulators of cognitive function in cocaine users. CONCLUSIONS: Cognitive deficits occur at a recreational and non-dependent level of cocaine use. Cocaine use and ADHD seem to have mutually aggravating effects on cognitive impairment.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Psychiatric University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Psychiatry, Psychotherapy, and Psychosomatics
04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Legal Medicine
Dewey Decimal Classification:340 Law
610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:July 2013
Deposited On:03 Jul 2013 13:47
Last Modified:07 Dec 2017 21:33
Publisher:Royal College of Psychiatrists
ISSN:0007-1250
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1192/bjp.bp.112.118091
PubMed ID:23703315

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