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J Neuropsychiatry Clin Neurosci. 1993 Fall;5(4):419-27.

Cerebral perfusion and neuropsychological consequences of chronic cocaine use.

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Department of Psychiatry, Drew University of Medicine and Science, Los Angeles, CA 90059.


Research indicates that cocaine significantly constricts the cerebral vasculature and can lead to ischemic brain infarction. Long-term effects of intermittent or casual cocaine use in patients without symptoms of stroke or transient ischemic attack were investigated. Single-photon emission computed tomography with xenon-133 and [99mTc]hexamethylpropyleneamine oxime, magnetic resonance imaging, and selected neuropsychological measures were used to study cerebral perfusion, brain morphology, and cognitive functioning. Patients were drug free for at least 6 months before evaluation. All showed regions of significant cerebral hypoperfusion in the frontal, periventricular, and/or temporal-parietal areas. Deficits in attention, concentration, new learning, visual and verbal memory, word production, and visuomotor integration were observed. This study indicates that long-term cocaine use may produce sustained brain perfusion deficits and persistent neuropsychological compromise in some subgroups of cocaine-abusing patients.

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