Publication Abstract Display
Type: Published Manuscript
Title: Cannabis use may attenuate neurocognitive performance deficits resulting from methamphetamine use disorder.
Authors: Rogers JM, Grant I, Marcondes MCG, Morgan EE, Cherner M, Ellis RJ, Letendre SL, Heaton RK, Iudicello JE
Year: 2023
Publication: Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society
Volume: Epub Aug 9 Issue: Pages:
Abstract:Objective: Methamphetamine and cannabis are two widely used, and frequently co-used, substances with possibly opposing effects on the central nervous system. Evidence of neurocognitive deficits related to use is robust for methamphetamine and mixed for cannabis. Findings regarding their combined use are inconclusive. We aimed to compare neurocognitive performance in people with lifetime cannabis or methamphetamine use disorder diagnoses, or both, relative to people without substance use disorders. Method: 423 (71.9% male, aged 44.6 ± 14.2 years) participants, stratified by presence or absence of lifetime methamphetamine (M-/M+) and/or cannabis (C-/C+) DSM-IV abuse/dependence, completed a comprehensive neuropsychological, substance use, and psychiatric assessment. Neurocognitive domain T-scores and impairment rates were examined using multiple linear and binomial regression, respectively, controlling for covariates that may impact cognition. Results: Globally, M+C+ performed worse than M-C- but better than M+C-. M+C+ outperformed M+C- on measures of verbal fluency, information processing speed, learning, memory, and working memory. M-C+ did not display lower performance than M-C- globally or on any domain measures, and M-C+ even performed better than M-C- on measures of learning, memory, and working memory. Conclusions: Our findings are consistent with prior work showing that methamphetamine use confers risk for worse neurocognitive outcomes, and that cannabis use does not appear to exacerbate and may even reduce this risk. People with a history of cannabis use disorders performed similarly to our nonsubstance using comparison group and outperformed them in some domains. These findings warrant further investigation as to whether cannabis use may ameliorate methamphetamine neurotoxicity.

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