Executive cognitive functioning and emotional reactivity in abstinent substance dependent individuals with and without a history of alcohol abuse.
This study investigatad execulive cognilive fundoning (EFC) & emotional reactivity in substance depndent individuals with & without a hisstory of alcohol abuse abstinent for a minimum of 3 months. The study examined whether alcohol abuse conferred an additive effect on ECF & emotional reactivlty deficits previously shown to exist in substance dependent individuals (Bolla, 1998, 1999). Thirty-five Ss participated, 17 controls (GR 1). 8 substance dependent Ss with a history of alcohol abuse (GR 2) & 10 substance dependent only Ss (GR 3). On the Dysregulation Inventory, a measure of emotional, behavioral. & cognitive funtioning, the 3 groups differed in 2 componenls of disregulation-irritability and aggression (means: GR 3 = 9.3 (sd 1.4) & g.8 (sd.1.6), GR2=7.2 (sd 1.3) & 7.2 (sd 1.8), GR 1=5.0 (sd .84) & 3.4 (sd .65). In the Roger's Task, a computerized risk taking test, GR 2 differed f om GR 1 & GR 3 in number of risky choices made (means: GR 2-32.75 (sd 2.7). GR 1-22.76 (sd 1.9), GR 3-27.7 (sd 1.9). These dfferences were slgnificant between GR 1 & GR 2 (p = -009). In the Gambling Task, a computerlzed measure of ability to develop a decision-makng strategy involving risk, the groups showed differences in number of high risk choices. GR2 & GR3 made more high risk choices than GR 1 (means: GR 2-25.37 (sd 2.6), GR 3-23.50 (sd 2.3). GR 1-17.05 (sd 1.7). Both GR 2's & GR 3's responses were significantly different from GR 1's responses (p = .02 for GR 1 & GR 2 comparison, p = .04 for GR 1 & GR 3 comparison). In the emotional reactivity test, GR 2 differed from GR 1 in reaction times (RTs) lor incorrect responses to emotional stimuli (p = .02). GR 2 also differed from GR 1 in number of correct (p = .058) and lncorrect responses (p = .059) to neutral stimuli. These preliminary findings suggest that alcohol abuse may compound some ECF and emotlonal deficits present in substance dependent individuals. Supported by Office of National Drug Control Policy, DABT63-00-1014.