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Publication Abstract Display
Type: Published Manuscript
Title: Longer term improvement in neurocognitive functioning and affective distress among methamphetamine users who achieve stable abstinence.
Authors: Iudicello JE, Woods SP, Vigil O, Cobb SJ, Cherner M, Heaton RK, Atkinson JH, Grant I, and the HNRC Group
Year: 2010
Publication: Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology
Volume: 32 Issue: 7 Pages: 704-718
Abstract:Chronic use of methamphetamine (MA) is associated with neuropsychological dysfunction and affective distress. Some normalization of function has been reported after abstinence, but little in the way of data is available on the possible added benefits of long-term sobriety. To address this, we performed detailed neuropsychological and affective evaluations in 83 MA-dependent individuals at a baseline visit and following an average one-year interval period. Among the 83 MA-dependent participants, 25 remained abstinent, and 58 used MA at least once during the interval period. A total of 38 non-MA-addicted, demographically matched healthy comparison (i.e., HC) participants were also examined. At baseline, both MA-dependent participants who were able to maintain abstinence and those who were not performed significantly worse than the healthy comparison subjects on global neuropsychological functioning and were significantly more distressed. At the one-year follow-up, both the long-term abstainers and healthy comparison groups showed comparable global neuropsychological performance and affective distress levels, whereas the MA-dependent group who continued to use MA were worse than the comparison participants in terms of global neuropsychological functioning and affective distress. An interaction was observed between neuropsychological impairment at baseline, MA abstinence, and cognitive improvement, with abstinent MA-dependent participants who were neuropsychologically impaired at baseline demonstrating significantly and disproportionately greater improvement in processing speed and slightly greater improvement in motor abilities than the other participants. These results suggest partial recovery of neuropsychological functioning and improvement in affective distress upon sustained abstinence from MA that may extend beyond a year or more.

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