Chronic solvent abuse. 1. Cognitive sequelae

Child Care Health Dev. Jan-Feb 1990;16(1):1-20. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2214.1990.tb00635.x.


Twelve adolescent males with a history of chronic solvent abuse were compared with 12 delinquent controls on a battery of neuropsychological tests. Toluene was the active constituent most commonly abused. Solvent abusers tended to have lower overall intelligence test scores. On the Bexley Maudsley Automated Screening Test, the solvent abusers scored significantly lower on tests involving visual processing, especially the Symbol Digit Coding test. These results are cautiously interpreted as indicating that chronic solvent abuse carries an increased risk of cognitive impairment.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Cognition Disorders / chemically induced*
  • Cognition Disorders / psychology
  • Humans
  • Intelligence / drug effects
  • Juvenile Delinquency / psychology*
  • Male
  • Neuropsychological Tests*
  • Psychometrics
  • Substance-Related Disorders / psychology*
  • Toluene* / adverse effects
  • Wechsler Scales


  • Toluene