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Sensory gating in tobacco-naïve cannabis users is unaffected by acute nicotine administration | SpringerLink

Objectives

Long-term
cannabis use has been associated with the appearance of psychotic
symptoms and schizophrenia-like cognitive impairments; however these
studies may be confounded by concomitant use of tobacco by cannabis
users. We aimed to determine if previously observed cannabis-associated
deficits in sensory gating would be seen in cannabis users with no
history of tobacco use, as evidenced by changes in the P50, N100, and
P200 event-related potentials. A secondary objective of this study was
to examine the effects of acute nicotine administration on cannabis
users with no tobacco use history.

Methods

Three
components (P50, N100, P200) of the mid-latency auditory-evoked
response (MLAER) were elicited by a paired-stimulus paradigm in 43
healthy, non-tobacco smoking male volunteers between the ages of 18–30.
Cannabis users (CU, n = 20) were administered nicotine (6 mg) and placebo gum within a randomized, double-blind design. Non-cannabis users (NU, n = 23) did not receive nicotine.

Results

Between-group sensory gating effects were only observed for the N100, with CUs exhibiting a smaller N100 to S1
of the paired stimulus paradigm, in addition to reduced dN100
(indicating poorer gating). Results revealed no significant sensory
gating differences with acute administration of nicotine compared to
placebo cannabis conditions.

Conclusions

These
findings suggest a relationship between gating impairment and cannabis
use; however, acute nicotine administration nicotine does not appear to
impact sensory gating function.

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