Dose-related neurobehavioral effects of chronic cocaine use

Karen I. Bolla, Richard Rothman, Jean Lud Cadet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

176 Scopus citations


Although cocaine use is a significant public health problem, there is a paucity of scientific data on long-term neurobehavioral effects. This study examined the dose-related association between chronic cocaine use and neurobehavioral performance. A battery of neuropsychological tests was administered to 30 abstinent chronic cocaine abusers and 21 non-drug-using control subjects matched for age, education, and intelligence. After controlling for age, education, and intellectual ability, greater use of cocaine (grams per week) was associated with larger decrements on tests measuring executive functioning, visuoperception, psychomotor speed, and manual dexterity. These results suggest that chronic cocaine use is associated with persistent decrements in cognitive function that are most pronounced in heavy users. Knowledge of specific cognitive processing deficits in chronic cocaine users would be useful for designing individually tailored drug treatment programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)361-369
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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