Chronic Cocaine Use Changes Brain Structure and Cognitive Function in Rhesus Monkeys

Repeated brain imaging and cognitive performance tests in rhesus monkeys revealed structural and functional changes within the brain before and after chronic cocaine administration. The study was conducted by University of Pittsburgh Healthcare System’s Dr. Hank Jedema and colleagues and NIDA Intramural Research Program to address gaps in knowledge encompassing “cocaine-induced” changes, while also accounting for changes attributed to pre-existing conditions. The study conducted thorough investigations of baseline cognitive performance of rhesus monkeys, in conjunction with gray matter density analysis, before the administration of cocaine 4 days a week for a year. To identify changes in cognitive performance and grey matter density, subsequent weekly analysis was conducted throughout the study’s duration. NIDA’s article is an engaging read, invoking critical thought and intrigue.

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