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Publication Abstract Display
Type: Published Abstract
Title: Evidence of a meta-memory deficit among chronic methamphetamine users.
Authors: Woods SP, Blackstone K, Morgan EE, Franklin D, Grant I and the TMARC Group
Year: 2013
Publication: 75th Annual Meeting of the College on Problems of Drug Dependence
Volume: Issue: Pages:
Abstract:Aims: Chronic methamphetamine (MA) use is associated with moderate deficits in learning and memory; poor awareness of these deficits may increase the risk of errors in real-world outcomes (e.g., automobile driving). The current study evaluated the hypothesis that MA use is associated with decreased awareness of memory deficits, as has been observed in other clinical populations in which prefrontal neural systems are injured. Methods: 195 participants with lifetime MA dependence diagnoses and 195 non-MA-using comparison subjects underwent comprehensive neuropsychiatric research assessments, including performance-based and self-report measures of episodic memory. Results: MA diagnosis was independently associated with lower scores on performance-based measures of visual and verbal learning and memory, as well as elevated memory complaints in daily life (ps<.05). The concordance between performance-based and self-report of memory problems was lower in the MA group (44% accurate) versus non-users (63% accurate), independent of other clinical factors, including current depressive symptoms (p<.05). Within the MA group, meta-memory inaccuracy was uniquely associated with higher rates of dependence in instrumental activities of daily living and psychomotor slowing (ps<.05). Conclusions: Chronic MA use is associated with reduced awareness of objective deficits in memory acquisition and retention, including both over- and under-evaluations of current levels of memory functioning that may increase concurrent risk of disability in normal daily activities. Cognitive neurorehabilitation efforts to enhance meta-memory accuracy and deployment of appropriate compensatory mnemonic strategies may confer some benefits for substance abuse treatment outcomes.

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