Significance of Cocaine History in Schizophrenia

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Fifty-one schizophrenic inpatients were divided into two groups, those with and without history of cocaine use, and compared on historical, demographic, cognitive, and psychopathological measures. Patients with a cocaine history were found to be significantly more depressed, less socialized, and more impaired in conceptual encoding and verbal memory, while less disordered in attention. The two groups did not differ in severity of illness or positive and negative syndromes. There were also no differences in control variables such as age, gender, education, intelligence, premorbid adjustment, neuroleptic dose, onset and chronicity of illness, continuity of hospitalization, paranoid subtype, and psychiatric illness in the family. Cocaine history was associated with multiple illicit drug use, but for other substances there was no increased liability for depression or cognitive deficits. The results suggest that the clinical presentation in schizophrenia is significantly associated with prior cocaine experience

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