Methamphetamine dependence is associated with neurocognitive impairment in the initial phases of abstinence

J Neuropsychiatry Clin Neurosci. Spring 2003;15(2):215-20. doi: 10.1176/jnp.15.2.215.


This study documented the association between neurocognitive impairment and methamphetamine dependence in a sample of 27 methamphetamine-dependent individuals who achieved 5 to 14 days of continuously monitored abstinence and in 18 control subjects. Methamphetamine-dependent individuals performed significantly worse than control subjects on neurocognitive measures sensitive to attention/psychomotor speed, on measures of verbal learning and memory, and on executive systems measures sensitive to fluency. These findings are the first to demonstrate that methamphetamine dependence is associated with impairments across a range of neurocognitive domains in a sample of users whose abstinence was continuously monitored with the use of urine screening.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Amphetamine-Related Disorders / complications*
  • Amphetamine-Related Disorders / physiopathology
  • Attention / physiology
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Central Nervous System Stimulants / adverse effects*
  • Cognition Disorders / complications*
  • Cognition Disorders / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Inhibition, Psychological
  • Learning / physiology
  • Male
  • Memory, Short-Term / physiology
  • Methamphetamine / adverse effects*
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology
  • Verbal Behavior / physiology
  • Visual Perception / physiology


  • Central Nervous System Stimulants
  • Methamphetamine