Assessment of Cognitive Functions in Methadone Maintenance Patients

Shahrzad Mazhari, Zeinab Keshvari, Abdolreza Sabahi, Shirin Mottaghian


Background: Methadone maintenance has received little scientific attention regarding neurocognitive effects. This study is aimed to assess the neuropsychological performance of methadone maintenance patients (MMP) compared to those healthy controls.

Methods: Thirty-five MMP and 35 healthy controls, matched for age, gender, education and employment status, examined on a battery of tests aimed at assessing verbal fluency, executive functions, verbal memory, and working memory, using controlled oral word association test (COWAT), trial making test (TMT) Part A and B, Rey auditory verbal learning test (RAVLT), and backward digit span.

Findings: MMP performed significantly poorly than controls in cognitive domains of verbal fluency, executive function, and verbal memory. MMP did not exhibit impairment in working memory, and TMT Part A compared to controls.

Conclusion: These results suggest that methadone consumption induces significant cognitive impairment that could compromise drug-treatment outcomes in MMP.


Methadone maintenance, Opiates, Cognitive dysfunction

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