The effect of N-acetylcysteine and working memory training on neural mechanisms of working memory and cue reactivity in regular cocaine users

Psychiatry Res Neuroimaging. 2019 May 30;287:56-59. doi: 10.1016/j.pscychresns.2019.03.011. Epub 2019 Apr 5.


The current study investigated the combined effects of N-acetylcysteine and working memory (WM) training on behavioral and neural mechanisms of cue reactivity and WM in cocaine users in a randomized, double-blind design. Twenty-four of 38 cocaine-using men completed a 25-day treatment with either 2400 mg/day NAC or placebo. Both groups performed WM-training. During pre- and post-test lab-visits, neural mechanisms of cue reactivity and WM, and cue-induced craving and WM performance were assessed. Additionally, exploratory whole brain analyses were performed. Overall, the hypotheses were not confirmed, possibly due to small sample size, low WM-training adherence and/or ongoing substance use.

Keywords: Functional magnetic resonance imaging; Interventions; Substance use disorders.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acetylcysteine / pharmacology*
  • Brain / drug effects
  • Cocaine / adverse effects*
  • Cocaine-Related Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Cocaine-Related Disorders / psychology*
  • Cognition
  • Cues
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Memory, Short-Term*


  • Cocaine
  • Acetylcysteine