3 years ago

Attention and memory deficits in crack-cocaine users persist over four weeks of abstinence

Crack-cocaine addiction is an important public health problem worldwide. Although there is not a consensus, preliminary evidence has suggested that cognitive impairments in patients with crack-cocaine dependence persist during abstinence, affecting different neuropsychological domains. However, few studies have prospectively evaluated those deficits in different phases of abstinence. Objectives The main aim of present study was to examine neuropsychological performance of patients with crack-cocaine dependence during early abstinence and after four weeks, comparing with matched controls. Methods Thirty-five males with crack-cocaine dependence, aged 18 to 50years, who met DSM-IV criteria for cocaine dependence and a control group of 33 healthy men were enrolled. They were assessed through Block Design, Digit Span and Vocabulary of Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS-III), the Rey Auditory Learning Test (RAVLT) and the Verbal Fluency (FAS) between 3 and 10days (mean of 6.1±2.0days) and after 4weeks of abstinence. Results Compared to controls, the crack-cocaine dependent group exhibited deficits in cognitive performance affecting attention, verbal memory and learning tasks in early withdrawal. Most of the cognitive deficits persisted after four weeks of abstinence. Conclusion Present results observed that the group of patients with crack-cocaine dependence presented persistent deficits affecting memory and attention even after four weeks of abstinence, confirming previous studies that had disclosed such cognitive impairments.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S0740547217302441

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