Neuropsychiatric Effects of Cocaine Use Disorders

20 Nov
2009

Cocaine Use Disorders

INTRODUCTION

Cocaine use disorders (CUDs) have continued to be a public health problem characterized by multiple neuropsychiatric sequelae. Although the neuropsychiatric complications of cocaine partially account for the morbidity and mortality in CUDs, their role in the transition from initial to compulsive use is controversial.

Potentially lethal neuropsychiatric effects of cocaine include suicidal behaviors, violent psychoses, strokes, seizures and encephalopathies. Also, cocaine’s toxic effects on the cardiac, vascular, thermoregulatory, and respiratory systems can present as or with acute neuropsychiatric symptoms. Indeed, the complex manifestations of cocaine can pose substantial problems in differential diagnoses and resuscitative treatment. generic viagra online

Intriguingly, a number of clinically silent neuropsychiatric complications have been described in long-term cocaine users. Examples include mental distress, altered frontolimbic excitability, psychomotor, neurocognitive, neurochemical, and neuroischemic alterations. These subtle complications of cocaine are ill understood mechanistically, although they could be related to neuroadaptation, direct toxicity or neuroischemia. Recently, researchers have been vigorously investigating the neuropsychiatric effects of cocaine because of the treatment implications. Thus far, the prospects are promising. This paper reviews the current state of neuropsychiatric research that deals with CUDs and their potential clinical relevance.

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