Acute cocaine induced deficits in cognitive performance in rhesus macaque monkeys treated with baclofen

Linda J. Porrino, Robert E. Hampson, Ioan Opris, Samuel A. Deadwyler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Rationale: Acute and/or chronic exposure to cocaine can affect cognitive performance, which may influence rate of recovery during treatment. Objective: Effects of the GABA-B receptor agonist baclofen were assessed for potency to reverse the negative influence of acute, pre-session, intravenous (IV) injection of cocaine on cognitive performance in Macaca mulatta nonhuman primates. Methods: Animals were trained to perform a modified delayed match to sample (DMS) task incorporating two types of trials with varying degrees of cognitive load that had different decision requirements in order to correctly utilize information retained over the delay interval. The effects of cocaine (0.2, 0.4, and 0.6 mg/kg, IV) alone and in combination with baclofen (0.29 and 0.40 mg/kg, IV) were examined with respect to sustained performance levels. Brain metabolic activity during performance of the task was assessed using PET imaged uptake of [18 F]-fluorodeoxyglucose. Results: Acute cocaine injections produced a dose-dependent decline in DMS performance selective for trials of high cognitive load. The GABA-receptor agonist baclofen, co-administered with cocaine, reversed task performance back to nondrug (saline IV) control levels. Simultaneous assessment of PET-imaged brain metabolic activity in prefrontal cortex (PFC) showed alterations by cocaine compared to PFC metabolic activation in nondrug (saline, IV) control DMS sessions, but like performance, PFC activation was returned to control levels by baclofen (0.40 mg/kg, IV) injected with cocaine. Conclusions: The results show that baclofen, administered at a relatively high dose, reversed the cognitive deficits produced by acute cocaine intoxication that may have implications for use in chronic drug exposure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)105-114
Number of pages10
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Baclofen reversal of cocaine effects
  • Cocaine-impaired cognition
  • DMS cognitive task
  • Monkeys
  • PET imaging correlates

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology


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