Longitudinal QEEG Studies in Crack Cocaine Dependence
With funding from National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) for the past 10 years we have studied crack cocaine dependent individuals during periods of sustained abstinence. This work was done in collaboration with Phoenix House Foundation. The following summarizes our results to date:
- Long term exposure to cocaine changes brain function and these changes persist for at least 3 months of abstinence
- With long term exposure different peoples brains are affected in different ways. This my be due to genetic factors related to vulnerability to drug dependence or differential sensitivity to the effects of drugs on the brain.
- The different patterns of brain abnormalities are NOT related to length of drug use, but are significantly PREDICTIVE of length of stay in treatment and continued abstinence.
- With sustained abstinence some of the brain abnormalities show NORMALIZATION. Other features are still abnormal after 12 months of abstinence. Such abnormal features may be TRAITS which predispose one to drug dependence or increase vulnerability.
- In the current phase of investigation we will study the non-drug abusing siblings of the cocaine dependent population to look for the presence of such traits; and will increase our population of cocaine dependent cases at intake and follow-up.