Study examines the implications of cocaine use on people with mental conditions

A Spanish-led study released in the journal Brain Sciences examined the effects of cocaine among patients with personality and psychotic disorders.

According to Spanish researchers, such severe mental conditions results in a predisposition to consume substances like cocaine, altering their perceptions of reality.

For the study, 74 individuals were split into four groups: one with only healthy participants, the second with only indications of complications from cocaine use, a third by patients with a psychotic disorder, and the fourth from patients with antisocial personality disorder.

“We know that consuming toxic substances such as cocaine can trigger severe mental disorders. prepulse inhibition (PPI) is an experimental technique, whose health results obtained in this study help identify people who are especially vulnerable to developing these disorders, giving us the opportunity to design specific prevention programs for cocaine consumers,” said one co-author of the study, in a news release.

“Despite the differences we observed in PPI, this factor is of little use for discriminating between the different diagnostic groups and it acts more as a non-specific endophenotype in certain mental disorders, such as in patients with a dual diagnosis,” the co-authors claimed in their study.

The study concluded that cocaine use is unable to reverse the sensory filtering of patients with psychotic and personality disorders, as do some treatments claim to do for those types of conditions.

The journal report was published on February 20th, 2021.

Photo: BBC