Researchers at the University of Illinois have discovered that lab mice given large amounts of amphetamine during adolescence have impaired working (short-term) memory in adulthood. The scientists found that mice given the drugs during adolescence performed activities far more poorly than mice given the same amount of amphetamine as adults.
The study’s lead investigator, Psychology professor Joshua Gulley, said during the results unveiling at the Society for Neurosciences in Chicago, the results indicate working memory capacity is severely impacted by early exposure to amphetamine. The theory as to why this happens is that the brain is still developing during adolescence and exposure to the harsh drug can lead to long-term consequences in cognitive performance.
The scientists say that early abuse of amphetamine may also be relevant for children taking the drug to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
December 18, 2009
Behavioral Health Central