Cognitive Sequelae of Methamphetamine Abuse

  • Salo, Ruth E (PI)

Project: Research project

Project Details


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): This application is to support a period of advanced training in multidisciplinary approaches to the study of substance abuse with a focus on methamphetamine [MA]. The candidate will acquire new knowledge in the fields of addiction psychiatry, pharmacology, neuroanatomy and neuropsychological assessment, providing the foundation to develop an independent research program that will examine the cognitive and neural sequelae of stimulant abuse. Additional training is needed to achieve this goal, as the study of substance abuse is new to the candidate and requires specialized knowledge related to the substances themselves as well as the behavioral results of long-term abuse. The candidate will work with a small group of talented mentors who will provide a solid background in addiction medicine, neurological research and cognitive assessment of substance abusers. The candidate will attend advanced courses in pharmacology, neuroanatomy, and participate in clinical rotations at substance abuse clinics (yrs 1-3) and neurobehavioral clinics (4-5). UC Davis is uniquely suited for the training and research goals of the candidate. The UC Davis School of Medicine offers advanced courses in pharmacology, neuroanatomy and clinical rotations, and staffs an ongoing program of neurobehavioral rounds and MRI/CT scan reading. The candidate's immediate goal is to assess cognitive performance in a group of MA dependent subjects, substance abusing controls, and focal lesion patients compared to healthy controls and to correlate the cognitive data with clinical symptomatology associated with substance abuse. The candidate will employ a focused battery of cognitive tasks that have been validated as measures of frontostriatal functioning and are believed to recruit the anterior cingulate [ACC], prefrontal cortex [PFC] and the basal ganglia, brain regions noted to be damaged following long-term MA abuse. This project will complement ongoing imaging studies of neural damage in stimulant abusers at UC Davis. The specific aims of the research proposed in this project are to measure: 1) the ability to suppress response conflict; 2) cognitive flexibility; 3) explicit and implicit memory processes; and 4) to correlate the cognitive findings with clinical symptomatology associated with stimulant abuse. The candidate's long-term career goal is to use the experience gained during this award to develop an independent research program that applies the approaches of cognitive neuroscience and clinical neuropsychiatry to the study of substance abuse.
Effective start/end date9/15/035/31/08


  • National Institutes of Health: $114,684.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $129,662.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $114,898.00


  • Medicine(all)


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