Neuropsychological effects associated with recreational cocaine use

Article


Soar, K., Mason, Colette, Potton, A. and Dawkins, L. 2012. Neuropsychological effects associated with recreational cocaine use. Psychopharmacology. 222 (4), pp. 633-643.
AuthorsSoar, K., Mason, Colette, Potton, A. and Dawkins, L.
Abstract

Rationale: Recent evidence suggests that recreational cocaine use is on the increase, with the UK reporting one of the highest levels of use in the EU (EMCDDA, 2010). Nevertheless, very few studies have addressed the neuropsychological effects associated with non-dependent recreational cocaine use.
Objectives: The current study aimed to assess whether recreational cocaine users show neuropsychological deficits on a battery of tests, previously shown to be sensitive to cocaine dependent and psychosis-prone individuals. Schizotypal traits were also measured.
Methods: Recreational cocaine users (n=17) were compared with controls (n=24) on drug use patterns, the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12), the Brief Schizotypal Personality Questionnaire (SPQ-B) and four neuropsychological tasks: spatial working memory, Intra/extra dimensional set-shifting, the Stocking of Cambridge, and the Rapid Visual Processing.
Results: Relative to controls, recreational cocaine users produced significantly more errors on the intra/extra dimensional set shift task and completed fewer stages; made significantly more 6 box stage errors on the spatial working memory task; and made significantly more errors and fewer hits, with overall poorer detection rates on the rapid visual processing task. Recreational cocaine users reported significantly higher scores on the cognitive-perceptual and disorganised thinking SPQ-B subscales and total SPQ-B scores compared to controls.
Conclusions: Recreational cocaine users displayed impairments on tasks tapping sustained attention, attentional shifting and spatial memory and reported higher schizotypal trait expression. These findings are consistent with the emerging literature suggesting subtle cognitive deficits, putatively reflecting underlying dopaminergic dysfunction, in non-dependent, recreational cocaine users.

Keywordscocaine; recreational drug use; neuropsychology; schizotypy
JournalPsychopharmacology
Journal citation222 (4), pp. 633-643
ISSN1432-2072
Year2012
Accepted author manuscript
License
CC BY-ND
Web address (URL)http://hdl.handle.net/10552/1466
Publication dates
Print29 Feb 2012
Publication process dates
Deposited05 Mar 2012
Additional information

Citation:
Soar, K., Mason, C., Potton, A. and Dawkins, L. (2012) ‘Neuropsychological effects associated with recreational cocaine use’. Psychopharmacology, Online First™ 29 February 2012, DOI 10.1007/s00213-012-2666-4.

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