Cerebral perfusion and neuropsychological consequences of chronic cocaine use

T. L. Strickland, I. Mena, J. Villanueva-Meyer, B. L. Miller, J. Cummings, C. M. Mehringer, P. Satz, H. Myers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

220 Scopus citations


Research indicates that cocaine significantly constricts the cerebral vasculature and can lead to ischemic brain infarction. Long-term effects of intermittent or casual cocaine use in patients without symptoms of stroke or transient ischemic attack were investigated. Single-photon emission computed tomography with xenon-133 and [99mTc]hexamethylpropyleneamine oxime, magnetic resonance imaging, and selected neuropsychological measures were used to study cerebral perfusion, brain morphology, and cognitive functioning. Patients were drug free for at least 6 months before evaluation. All showed regions of significant cerebral hypoperfusion in the frontal, periventricular, and/or temporal-parietal areas. Deficits in attention, concentration, new learning, visual and verbal memory, word production, and visuomotor integration were observed. This study indicates that long-term cocaine use may produce sustained brain perfusion deficits and persistent neuropsychological compromise in some subgroups of cocaine-abusing patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)419-427
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1993
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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