Deakin University
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Cognition and related neural findings on methamphetamine use disorder: insights and treatment implications from schizophrenia research

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journal contribution
posted on 2019-12-17, 00:00 authored by A A Guerin, Y Bonomo, A J Lawrence, B T Baune, E J Nestler, S L Rossell, Jee Hyun KimJee Hyun Kim
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/impulse 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.



Frontiers in Psychiatry



Article number



1 - 19


Frontiers Research Foundation


Lausanne, Switzerland





Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal