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Review ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Psychiatry | doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2019.00880

Cognition and Related Neural Findings on Methamphetamine Use Disorder: Insights and Treatment Implications from Schizophrenia Research

  • 1Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, University of Melbourne, Australia
  • 2The University of Melbourne, Australia
  • 3St Vincent's Hospital (Melbourne), Australia
  • 4Friedman Brain Institute, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, United States
  • 5Swinburne University of Technology, Australia

Despite the prevalence of methamphetamine (meth) use disorder, research on meth is disproportionately scarce compared to research on other illicit drugs. Existing evidence highlights cognitive deficits as an impediment against daily function and treatment of chronic meth use. Similar deficits are also observed in schizophrenia, and this review therefore draws on schizophrenia research by examining similarities and differences between the two disorders on cognition and related neural findings. While meth use disorder and schizophrenia are two distinct disorders, they are highly co-morbid and share impairments in similar cognitive domains and altered brain structure/function. This narrative review specifically identifies overlapping features such as deficits in learning and memory, social cognition, working memory and inhibitory/impulsive control. We report that while working memory deficits are a core feature of schizophrenia, such deficits are inconsistently observed following chronic meth use. Similar structural and functional abnormalities are also observed in cortical and limbic regions between the two disorders, except for cingulate activity where differences are observed. There is growing evidence that targeting cognitive symptoms may improve functional outcome in schizophrenia, with evidence of normalized abnormal brain activity in regions associated with cognition. Considering the overlap between meth use disorder and schizophrenia, targeting cognitive symptoms in people with meth use disorder may also improve treatment outcome and daily function.

Keywords: methamphetamine use disorder, Schizophrenia, Cognition, Memory, Brain, MRI

Received: 15 Aug 2019; Accepted: 07 Nov 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Guérin, Bonomo, Lawrence, Baune, Nestler, Rossell and Kim. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Jee Hyun Kim, Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC 3052, Victoria, Australia, drjeehyunkim@gmail.com