Past Issues

Substance Use Patterns and Cognitive Function in Patients with Methamphetamine Use: A Study of 131 Cases

Ying Chih Cheng, Liang-Jen Wang, Yi-Chih Chen, Ming-Chyi Huang, Shih-Ku Lin, Chih-Ken Chen

Objective: Substance use patterns are among many factors been reported to
influence the result of cognitive function in patients with methamphetamine (meth)
use. In this study, we intended to study what meth use parameters can predict cognitive deficits in patients with meth use. Methods: In this cross-sectional study, we
recruited meth users, to collect meth use parameters‒onset age, duration, dose, and
experience of other illicit drugs. The psychiatric diagnoses, cognitive function, and
clinical psychopathology of each patient were evaluated using the Diagnostic Interview for Genetic Study, the Brief Assessment of Cognition in Schizophrenia
(BACS), and the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale, respectively. Results: We enrolled 131 patients with meth use. After controlling for age, sex and education, we
found that long duration of meth use and experience of ketamine use were significantly associated with poor performance in working memory (p < 0.01), executive
function (p < 0.05) and composite BACS score (p < 0.01 and p < 0.05, respectively), duration of meth use and experience of opioid use were significantly associated with poor attention (p < 0.05), and processing speed (p < 0.05). We also
found that earlier age of first meth use was significantly associated with poor verbal memory (p < 0.05). Amount of meth consumption was also found to be significantly associated with deficit in motor speed (p < 0.05). Conclusion: Duration of
meth use and experience of ketamine use predicted cognitive deficits in meth users
in this study. The mechanisms behind association of various meth use parameters
with deficits in different domains of cognition warrant further investigation.
Key Word methamphetamine, cognition, ketamine, substance abuse
Editorial Committe, Taiwanese Journal of Psychiatry
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