RELEVANCE: Methamphetamine (MA) addiction is a global health problem with high prevalence and great social and health costs in the United States and in the Republic of South Africa and there is a strong need for development and implementation of effective MA treatment approaches.
DESCRIPTION: This study will enroll treatment-seeking, MA-dependent individuals into an 8-week contingency management (CM) program. At the beginning and end of the program, participants will participate in MRI scans while performing a working memory task and will complete a battery of select neurocognitive and psychological assays to address two specific aims: (1) to determine whether changes in neural function within frontostriatal circuitry (neural pathways that connect frontal lobe regions with the basal ganglia (striatum)) that mediate motor, cognitive, and behavioral functions within the brain from baseline to end of the 8-week CM program are associated with parallel changes in measures of cognitive control and impulsivity and with MA abstinence outcomes; (2) to determine whether structural changes in frontostriatal circuitry over the 8-week CM intervention correspond with neurocognitive, psychological and MA abstinence measures. Findings from this study will describe associations between functional and structural indices of brain areas that support working memory, cognitive control/inhibition; performance on select neurocognitive and psychological assessments; and associations between these with MA abstinence outcomes. Study activities and the neuroscience data generated will provide preliminary data for a larger, adequately powered study that will test ways to optimize behavioral therapies for treating stimulant use disorder.
STATUS: Currently enrolling at the University of Cape Town.