Cocaine Ages the Brain
A recent study to be published in Molecular Psychiatry, found that the sample group similar in age, gender and verbal IQ, showed users of cocaine lost more grey matter at twice the volume.
“As we age, we all lose grey matter. However, what we have seen is that chronic cocaine users lose grey matter at a significantly faster rate, which could be a sign of premature ageing. Our findings therefore provide new insight into why the cognitive deficits typically seen in old age have frequently been observed in middle aged chronic users of cocaine,” says, lead researcher Dr Karen Ersche, of the Behavioural and Clinical Neuroscience Institute (BCNI) at the University of Cambridge
Although previous studies have shown psychological and physiological changes associated with old age – cognitive, brain atrophy and immunodeficiency- this is the first to show premature ageing of the brain.
According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, it’s estimated that there are 21 million users worldwide, with approximately one percent of these users being addicted.
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