cocaine

Recreational drugs associated with deficits in planning memory

February, 2010

A small study has found that regular use ecstasy or cocaine is associated with impaired prospective memory (remembering things you plan to do).

A study involving 42 students who were ecstasy/polydrug users has found that ecstasy, or the regular use of several drugs, affects users' prospective memory (remembering things you plan to do), even when tests are controlled for cannabis, tobacco or alcohol use. Cocaine use in particular was prominently associated with prospective memory impairment. Deficits were evident in both lab-based and self-reported measurements.

Reference: 

[164] Hadjiefthyvoulou, F., Fisk J. E., Montgomery C., & Bridges N. J.
(2010).  Everyday and prospective memory deficits in ecstasy/polydrug users.
J Psychopharmacol. 0269881109359101 - 0269881109359101.

Full text is available for a limited time at http://jop.sagepub.com/cgi/rapidpdf/0269881109359101v1

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Prenatal cocaine exposure impacts cognition in subtle ways

March, 2010

A review of 32 major studies of school-age children reveals that the consequences of prenatal exposure to cocaine for the brain are less sweeping than feared, but the specific areas affected such as sustained attention and self-regulated behavior could lead to serious problems later in life.

When a pregnant woman uses cocaine, it can interrupt the flow of nutrients and oxygen to the baby, putting such children at risk for premature birth, low birth weight and many other problems. However a new review of 32 major studies of school-age children reveals that the consequences for the brain are less sweeping than feared. Although many of the children did have low IQ and poor academic and language achievement, this seems to be related more to the home environment. But direct effects of cocaine exposure significantly affected children in specific areas such as sustained attention and self-regulated behavior — areas which could lead to serious problems later in life.

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