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Differences in prefrontal blood oxygenation during an acute multitasking stressor in ecstasy polydrug users

Roberts, CA, Wetherell, MA, Fisk, JE and Montgomery, C (2015) Differences in prefrontal blood oxygenation during an acute multitasking stressor in ecstasy polydrug users. PSYCHOLOGICAL MEDICINE, 45 (2). pp. 395-406. ISSN 0033-2917

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Background: Cognitive deficits are well documented in ecstasy (MDMA) users with such deficits being taken as evidence of dysregulation of the 5HT system. More recently neuroimaging has been used to corroborate these deficits. The present study aimed to assess multitasking performance in ecstasy polydrug users, polydrug users and drug naïve individuals. It was predicted that ecstasy polydrug users would perform worse than nonusers on the behavioural measure and this would be supported by difference in cortical blood oxygenation. Methods: Twenty ecstasy-polydrug users, 17 polydrug users and 19 drug naïve individuals took part. On day 1 drug use history was taken and questionnaire measures were completed. On day 2, participants completed a 20 minute multitasking stressor while brain blood oxygenation was measured using functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS). Results: There were no significant differences between the 3 groups on the subscales of the multitasking stressor. In addition, there were no significant differences on self-report measures of perceived workload (NASA – TLX). In terms of mood, ecstasy users were significantly less calm and less relaxed compared to drug-naïve controls. There were also significant differences at 3 voxels on the fNIRS indicating decreased blood oxygenation in ecstasy users compared to drug naïve controls at V2 (left DLPFC), V14 and V16 (right DLPFC), and compared to polydrug controls at V14. Conclusions: The results of the present study provide support for changes in brain activation during performance of demanding tasks in ecstasy polydrug users, which could be related to cerebral vasoconstriction.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 1701 Psychology, 1117 Public Health And Health Services, 1109 Neurosciences
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
R Medicine > RM Therapeutics. Pharmacology
Divisions: Natural Sciences & Psychology (closed 31 Aug 19)
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Date Deposited: 16 Apr 2015 14:17
Last Modified: 04 Sep 2021 14:30
DOI or ID number: 10.1017/S0033291714001500
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/877

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