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Neuropsychology. 2005 Jan;19(1):35-43.

Deficient strategic control of verbal encoding and retrieval in individuals with methamphetamine dependence.

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HIV Neurobehavioral Research Center, University of California, San Diego, San Diego, CA 92103, USA.


Methamphetamine (MA) dependence is associated with deficits in episodic verbal memory, but the cognitive mechanisms underlying such impairments are not known. The authors evaluated a component process model of episodic verbal memory in 87 persons with MA dependence (MA+) and 71 demographically similar non-MA-using controls (MA-). Compared with MA- controls, MA+ participants demonstrated deficient overall learning, free recall, and utilization of semantic clustering, as well as higher rates of repetitions and intrusions. No between-groups differences were evident on measures of serial clustering, retention, or recognition discrimination. Taken together, these findings indicate that MA dependence is associated with deficient strategic (i.e., executive) control of verbal encoding and retrieval, which is consistent with the sequelae of MA-related prefronto-striatal circuit neurotoxicity.

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