Frontal Systems Dysfunction in Stimulant Abusers – Results from CTN-0031-A-1


Currently in-press at Drug and Alcohol Dependence, and written by Theresa Winhusen, Eugene Somoza, Daniel Lewis, and colleagues, this article reports on the ancillary protocol CTN-0031-A-1, “An Evaluation of Neurocognitive Function, Oxidative Damage, and Their Association with Treatment Outcomes in Methamphetamine and Cocaine Abusers.”  Recovery Centers of King County, part of the Pacific Northwest Node, participated in this study.

Frontal systems dysfunction is present in stimulant-dependent patients. However, it is unclear whether this dysfunction is a pre-morbid risk factor or stimulant-induced, is severe enough to be clinically relevant, and if it is relevant to treatment response. These questions were addressed using the Frontal Systems Behavior Scale (FrSBe), a reliable and valid self-report assessment of three neurobehavioral domains associated with frontal systems functioning (Apathy, Disinhibition, and Executive Dysfunction, summed for a Total), that assesses both pre- and post-morbid functioning, and has a specific cutoff for defining clinically significant abnormalities.

Analysis of results revealed that stimulant-dependent patients evidence frontal systems dysfunction as measured by the FrSBe, that frontal systems dysfunction was present prior to the initiation of stimulant abuse based on retrospective ratings, that stimulant use was associated with significant worsening of frontal systems function, and that clinically significant Disinhibition was associated with poorer treatment response.

Citation: Winhusen TM, Somoza EC, Lewis DF, et al. Frontal Systems Deficits in Stimulant-Dependent Patients: Evidence of Pre-Illness Dysfunction and Relationship to Treatment Response. Drug and Alcohol Dependence 2012 (in press).

Find it in the CTN Dissemination Library!


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