Crack-cocaine dependence and aging: effects on working memory
Revista Brasileira de Psiquiatria
Objective: To compare the working memory (WM) performance of young adult crack-cocaine dependent users, healthy older adults, and a control group of healthy young adults. Methods: A total of 77 female participants took part in this study: 26 young adult crack-cocaine dependent users (CRK), 19 healthy older adults (HO), and 32 healthy younger adults (HC). All participants completed the N-back verbal task. Results: A multivariate analysis of covariance was performed. The model included education,
... included education, income, and medication use as covariates. A group effect (F 6,140 = 7.192, p o 0.001) was found. Post-hoc analyses showed that the performance of the CRK and HO groups was reduced compared to the HC group in two N-back conditions. No differences between the HO and CRK groups on WM performance were found. Conclusions: CRK participants perform similar to HO participants on a WM task, despite the wellknown effects of age on WM and the young age of CRK. These data point to a possible parallel between cognitive declines associated with crack use and developmental aging.