Prevalence of traumatic brain injury in cocaine-dependent research volunteers

Academic Article


  • Background There is a high prevalence of traumatic brain injury (TBI) among those with substance dependence. However, TBI often remains undiagnosed in these individuals, due to lack of routine screening in substance use treatment settings or due to overlap in some of the cognitive sequelae (eg impulsivity, disinhibition) of TBI and cocaine dependence. Methods: The prevalence of self-reported mild to moderate TBI in a group of cocaine-dependent (n=95) and a group of healthy volunteers (n=75) enrolled at the same facility was assessed. Additionally, the relationship between TBI and clinically relevant correlates, including impulsivity, cocaine use history, and treatment outcome in the cocaine-dependent group was also examined. Results: A higher proportion of individuals with cocaine dependence (29.5%) reported having suffered a TBI in their lifetime compared to controls (8%) on a Closed Head Injury scale. Among cocaine users, the average age of sustaining TBI was significantly lower than the age of initiating cocaine use. Presence of TBI was not associated with higher impulsivity on the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale-11 or self-reported years of cocaine use. No differences were noted on treatment outcome for cocaine dependence as measured by treatment effectiveness scores (TES) between cocaine users with TBI and their non-TBI counterparts. Conclusions: These results are the first to highlight the high prevalence of TBI among individuals with cocaine dependence. This study underscores the possible role of TBI history as a risk factor for onset of cocaine use, however, more research is needed to determine the impact of co-morbid TBI as a complicating factor in the substance abuse treatment setting. (Am J Addict 2015;XX:XX-XX)
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    Author List

  • Ramesh D; Keyser-Marcus LA; Ma L; Schmitz JM; Lane SD; Marwitz JH; Kreutzer JS; Moeller FG
  • Start Page

  • 341
  • End Page

  • 347
  • Volume

  • 24
  • Issue

  • 4