Study of twins reveals changes in attention and motor skills after heavy stimulant abuse

April 09, 2003

In a study supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), researchers found that heavy stimulant abuse can result in changes in attention and motor skills that can persist for at least a year.

The investigators studied 50 pairs of twins; in each pair, one twin had a history of abusing cocaine and/or methamphetamine and the other had no history of drug abuse. Thirty-one monozygotic (identical) and 19 dizygotic (fraternal) adult male twin pairs were tested for attention and motor skills, executive functioning, intelligence, and memory at least one year after the drug-using twin's last-reported use of stimulants.

The researchers, led by Dr. Rosemary Toomey from Massachusetts General Hospital, found that the twin with a history of stimulant abuse performed significantly worse on several tests of attention and motor skills than did the sibling who had never used drugs.

However, abusers outperformed their non-drug-using twin on visual vigilance, a test measuring the ability to pay attention over time.

WHAT IT MEANS: This study provides evidence that stimulant abuse can result in long-term residual neuropsychological effects.

The study was published in the March 2003 issue of the journal Archives of General Psychiatry.
-end-
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) is a component of the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIDA supports more than 85 percent of the world's research on the health aspects of drug abuse and addiction. The Institute carries out a large variety of programs to ensure the rapid dissemination of research information and its implementation in policy and practice. Fact sheets on the health effects of drugs of abuse and other topics are available in English and Spanish. These fact sheets and further information on NIDA research and other activities can be found on the NIDA home page at http://www.drugabuse.gov.

NIH/National Institute on Drug Abuse

Related Drug Abuse Articles from Brightsurf:

Job skills training leads to long-term reduction in drug abuse
Job skills training for low-income youth does more than just help them get better jobs - it makes them significantly less likely than others to use some illicit drugs, even 16 years later.

Drug reduces the risk of child sexual abuse
A drug that lowers levels of the male hormone testosterone in the body reduces the risk of men with pedophilic disorder sexually abusing children, a study from Karolinska Institutet published today in the journal JAMA Psychiatry shows.

Recovery from sperm suppression due to performance-enhancing drug abuse is slow
Decreased sperm and testosterone production caused by abuse of performing-enhancing hormones may be fully reversible once men stop taking the drugs, but full recovery can take at least nine to 18 months, according to research to be presented Sunday, March 24 at ENDO 2019, the Endocrine Society's annual meeting in New Orleans, La.

URI drug study produces 'promising therapy' for alcohol abuse
A University of Rhode Island College of Pharmacy professor is working to change that, and a new clinical trial is right around the corner.

Parental attention can reduce risk of drug abuse in adolescence
Survey of more than 6,000 teenagers performed by Brazilian researchers reinforces protective function of rule-keeping, which relies on open dialogue about the importance of rules as much as on children's monitoring.

ADHD medication tied to lower risk for alcohol, drug abuse in teens and adults
The use of medication to treat attention deficient hyperactivity disorder is linked to significantly lower risk for substance use problems in adolescents and adults with ADHD, according to a study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry and led by Indiana University.

Stopping drug abuse can reverse related heart damage
Quitting methamphetamine use can reverse the damage the drug causes to the heart and improve heart function in abusers when combined with appropriate medical treatment, potentially preventing future drug-related cases of heart failure or other worse outcomes, according to a study published today in JACC: Heart Failure.

Opioid abuse drops when doctors check patients' drug history
There's a simple way to reduce the opioid epidemic gripping the country, according to new Cornell University research: Make doctors check their patients' previous prescriptions.

Alcohol abuse drug can be repurposed to treat a blinding disorder
Disulfiram prevents scars forming in a mouse model of scarring conjunctivitis.

Prescription drug abuse in Europe is a bigger problem than previously thought
International collaborations across the EU are needed to monitor prescription drug abuse, identify its scope and develop targeted interventions, according to the first comparative study of prescription drug abuse in the European Union.

Read More: Drug Abuse News and Drug Abuse Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.