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Effects of isradipine on cocaine-induced changes in cognitive performance in recently abstinent cocaine-dependent individuals.

Author(s): Johnson BA, Roache JD, Ait-Daoud N, Wallace CL, Wells LT, Wang Y, Dawes MA

Affiliation(s): Department of Psychiatric Medicine, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22908-0623, USA. bankolejohnson@virginia.edu

Publication date & source: 2005-12, Int J Neuropsychopharmacol., 8(4):549-56. Epub 2005 May 26.

Publication type: Randomized Controlled Trial; Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

Recently abstinent cocaine-dependent individuals, compared with healthy controls, appear more likely to exhibit deficits in cognitive performance and attention. Individuals with such cognitive deficits might be less able to avail themselves of rehabilitative or relapse-prevention efforts. Pharmacotherapy that reduces the impairment in cognitive performance among cocaine-dependent individuals would be a useful clinical tool. Preclinical and human studies suggest that the dihydropyridine-class calcium-channel antagonist, isradipine, can enhance neurocognitive function in some neuropsychiatric disorders. Isradipine, presumably by increasing cerebral blood flow and its actions at various neurotransmitter systems, might, therefore, ameliorate the impairment in cognitive performance and attention seen in cocaine addicts and enhance the expected modest improvement in performance during acute cocaine-taking in these same individuals. Among 12 male and female cocaine-dependent individuals, we examined the effects of low and high doses of intravenous cocaine (0, 0.325, and 0.650 mg/kg) on cognitive performance and attention in both the presence and absence of isradipine (0 or 30 mg sustained release each evening prior to testing, plus 0 or 15 mg immediate release each morning 2 h before the cocaine or placebo cocaine infusion and on the day of testing). Intravenous cocaine produced a modest increase in cognitive performance and attention. Isradipine, both with and without cocaine, had no effect on these same parameters. Hence, cocaine-taking by cocaine-dependent individuals produces little improvement in cognitive performance and attention in either the presence or absence of isradipine.

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