Front Hum Neurosci. 2021 Jun 11;15:677793. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2021.677793. eCollection 2021.
Background While research has consistently identified an association between long-term cannabis use and memory impairments, few studies have examined this relationship in a polydrug context (i.e., when combining cannabis with other substances). Aims: In this preliminary study, we used event-related potentials to examine the recognition process in a visual episodic memory task in cannabis users (CU) and cannabis polydrug users (PU). We hypothesized that CU and PU will have both-behavioral and psychophysiological-indicators of memory processes affected, compared to matched non-using controls with the PU expressing more severe changes. Methods 29 non-using controls (CG), 24 CU and 27 PU were enrolled into the study. All participants completed a visual learning recognition task while brain electrical activity was recorded. Event-related potentials were calculated for familiar (old) and new images from a signal recorded during a subsequent recognition test. We used receiver operating characteristic curves for behavioral data analysis. Results The groups did not differ in memory performance based on receiver operating characteristic method in accuracy and discriminability indicators nor mean reaction times for old/new images. The frontal old/new effect expected from prior research was observed for all participants, while a parietal old/new effect was not observed. While, the significant differences in the late parietal component (LPC) amplitude was observed between CG and PU but not between CG and CU nor CU and PU. Linear regression analysis was used to examine the mean amplitude of the LPC component as a predictor of memory performance accuracy indicator. LPC amplitude predicts recognition accuracy only in the CG. Conclusion The results showed alterations in recognition memory processing in CU and PU groups compared to CG, which were not manifested on the behavioral level, and were the most prominent in cannabis polydrug users. We interpret it as a manifestation of the cumulative effect of multiple drug usage in the PU group.
Source: ncbi 2