Image_1_Neurocognitive Dysfunctions and Their Therapeutic Modulation in Patients With Methamphetamine Dependence: A Pilot Study.pdf (281.27 kB)

Image_1_Neurocognitive Dysfunctions and Their Therapeutic Modulation in Patients With Methamphetamine Dependence: A Pilot Study.pdf

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posted on 02.07.2020, 04:19 by Nadine Bernhardt, Johannes Petzold, Cornelius Groß, Anna Scheck, Shakoor Pooseh, René Mayer-Pelinski, Ulrich S. Zimmermann, Michael N. Smolka, Maximilian Pilhatsch
Aim

Methamphetamine (MA) abuse and dependence are increasing worldwide and are commonly associated with cognitive deficits. Some studies indicate that such impairments can improve if users become abstinent, but overall results remain inconclusive. Hence, we have performed a longitudinal case-control study investigating key surrogates for attention and impulsive decision-making before and after treatment.

Methods

Thirty patients with MA dependence and 24 non–substance-abusing control participants were recruited. Groups were matched on age, sex and education. All subjects performed a baseline assessment to obtain neurocognitive measures of sustained attention and delay discounting. Patients subsequently participated in an MA-specific relapse prevention program including repeated monitoring of relapse status. After 3 months, participants of both groups were reevaluated for neurocognitive performance.

Results

At baseline, MA patients showed a significantly higher number of omissions compared to controls, indicative of lower sustained attention. Interestingly, we observed a steep decrease of omissions in MA patients to control-group level post treatment. On the other hand, MA patients discounted delayed rewards significantly stronger than controls, indicating a more impulsive choice behavior both before and after treatment.

Limitation

The results should be interpreted with care because of the small sample and short follow-up period.

Conclusion

Our data support earlier findings on partial recovery of cognitive deficits in MA patients. They also strengthen the indication for recently recommended psychotherapeutic interventions and may provide a behavioral monitoring tool to inform treatment progress.

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