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The Impact of Hydrochloride Heroin on Mental Flexibility, Abstract Reasoning, Impulsivity, and Attention

Author(s): Zahra Alam Mehrjerdi | Sara Bakhshi | Siavash Jafari | Afsaneh Moradi | Hamed Ekhtiari

Journal: Basic and Clinical Neuroscience
ISSN 2008-126X

Volume: 2;
Issue: 3;
Start page: 27;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: Addiction | AttentionExecutive Functions | Hydrochloride Heroin | Impulsivity.

Introduction: Drug addiction could lead to severe impairments in executive and neurocognitive functions but study on the impact of hydrochloride heroin on executive functions has remained in infancy in Iran. The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between addiction to hydrochloride heroin and executive functioning in several cognitive domains including mental flexibility, abstract reasoning, impulsivity, and attention. Methods: A total of 60 cases of young male addicts aged 18 to 21 were recruited from outpatient addiction clinics in Karaj city and were matched with 60 non-drug using controls. A test battery including the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST), Porteus Maze Test (PMQS), Serial Seven Subtraction Test (SSST), and Color Trails Test (CTT) were administered respectively. Results: The patient group showed more problems in impulse control compared with the control group, while mental flexibility, abstract reasoning and attention were not affected. Discussion: The findings indicated that addiction to hydrochloride heroin had a negative effect on impulse control. This issue could reflect the role of impaired inhibitory control on drug-seeking behaviors and relapse. Special treatment programs must be tailored to control impulsivity among addicts to hydrochloride heroin during treatment.
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