Objective: To clarify how chronic solvent abuse affects cognitive function using magnetic resonance imaging as an index of brain damage.
Material and methods: A total of 25 chronic solvent abusers underwent magnetic resonance imaging with quantitative neurometry and Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scales revised.
Results: The abusers with white matter change (n=10) showed significantly (P<0.05) lower performance IQ, especially in Digit Symbol subtest (P<0.01). Also, the severity of pontine atrophy was significantly correlated with PIQ (r=0.60, P<0.01).
Conclusions: These data indicate that solvent abuse causes the decline in the test performance reflecting cognitive and fine motor dysfunction and that white matter changes and pontine atrophy may have some roles in this decline.