Chandralekha S.Velu, Wan Shahrazad Wan Sulaiman, Rozainee Khairudin, Syazarina Sharis Osman, Yahaya Mahamood


Case of relapse among heroin addicts is gradually increasing in Malaysia. This study attempts to relate these relapse with the duration of heroin use towards memory capability and brain sections in an attempt to understand relapse behavior. 45 subjects were involved in this study. All subjects were chosen randomly based on the period of abuse. Subjects were divided to short addiction period, long period and normal subjects. Each group were represented by 15 subjects. This study was conducted as a parallel experiment using behavioral test through N-Back memory test and imaging test through fMRI test. Results from behavioral test were analyzed using SPSS, while data from the fMRI were analyzed using statistical paremetric mapping software (SPM) and MATLAB (r2008a). Hypotheses were tested using repeated measure ANOVA test and Post-Hoc while random effect test analysis (RFX) were conducted to observe the level of brain activities using SPM. Results show that memory capability differs significantly with period of abuse, there were significant interaction between period of abuse with the N-Back test, and differences on activation pattern on brain sections in experimental group and control group according to the difficulty of N-Back test administered. This study shows that the longer the period of addiction, the less part of the brain is activated and the higher the tendency to relapse.

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