Long-term effects of ketamine: evidence for a persisting impairment of source memory in recreational users

Morgan, C. J.A., Riccelli, M., Maitland, C. H. and Curran, H. V. (2004) Long-term effects of ketamine: evidence for a persisting impairment of source memory in recreational users. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 75(3), pp. 301-308. (doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2004.03.006) (PMID:15283951)

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Rationale: Ketamine is an N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA)-receptor antagonist that is increasingly being used as a recreational drug. Previous research has shown gross generalised verbal memory impairments persisting 3 days after ketamine use in chronic users, however episodic memory has not specifically investigated in this population. Objective: To determine whether ketamine, on the night of drug use (day 0) and 3 days later, is associated with impaired episodic memory as assessed by a source memory task. Methods: Twenty ketamine users and 20 poly-drug controls were compared on a source memory task both on day 0 and 3. Participants also completed questionnaires on both days indexing schizophrenic-like and dissociative symptoms. Results: On day 0, ketamine abusers were impaired on both source memory and item recognition and scored more highly on schizophrenic and dissociative symptom scales compared to poly-drug controls. On day 3 ketamine abusers only displayed source memory impairments and these positively correlated with the level of schizophrenic-like symptoms on day 0. No differences on day 3 in schizophrenic-like or dissociative symptoms were observed. Conclusions: Ketamine abusers exhibit a persisting deficit in source memory on day 3 but not in item recognition. These findings suggest that repeated use of ketamine produces chronic impairments to episodic memory.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Heriot-Maitland, Dr Charles
Authors: Morgan, C. J.A., Riccelli, M., Maitland, C. H., and Curran, H. V.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > Mental Health and Wellbeing
Journal Name:Drug and Alcohol Dependence
ISSN (Online):1879-0046
Published Online:21 May 2004

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