Neurocognitive performance in drug-dependent males and females with posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms

J Clin Exp Neuropsychol. 2012;34(5):521-30. doi: 10.1080/13803395.2012.665436. Epub 2012 Mar 2.


Sex differences in neurobiological mechanisms of substance dependence are well documented but studies of sex differences in associated neurocognitive deficits have produced inconsistent results. Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is comorbid with substance dependence and frequently affects neurocognition. Thus, we investigated the effects of sex and PTSD symptoms on sustained attention and inhibition abilities among 126 female and 297 male substance-dependent individuals (SDIs) using the Immediate Memory Test (IMT). Females with significant PTSD (PTSD+) symptoms demonstrated significantly impaired IMT performance relative to other participants. These results represent progress in efforts to delineate sex-specific risk factors for neurocognitive deficits among SDIs.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Association Learning / physiology
  • Attention
  • Cognition Disorders* / diagnosis
  • Cognition Disorders* / epidemiology
  • Cognition Disorders* / etiology
  • Female
  • Hospitals, Veterans
  • Humans
  • Inhibition, Psychological
  • Male
  • Memory Disorders* / diagnosis
  • Memory Disorders* / epidemiology
  • Memory Disorders* / etiology
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Characteristics*
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / complications*
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / epidemiology
  • Substance-Related Disorders / complications*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / epidemiology
  • Young Adult