Neuropsychological function is improved among opioid dependent adults who adhere to opiate agonist treatment with buprenorphine-naloxone: A preliminary study

Travis M. Scott, Monica Rivera Mindt, Chinazo O. Cunningham, Franchesca Arias, Kelly Coulehan, Aprille Mangalonzo, Pat Olsen, Julia H. Arnsten

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations


Background: Among persons with opioid use disorder (OUD), neuropsychological dysfunction is associated with depression, and better neuropsychological function is associated with opioid abstinence. However, it is unknown whether depressive symptomatology or adherence to opiate agonist treatment are associated with neuropsychological change over time. Methods: We recruited 20 buprenorphine/naloxone-treated adults with OUD (M Age=45.2years [SD=8.1]; 25% female) to complete baseline and 6 month visits containing a neuropsychological test battery and self-reported measures of depressive symptomatology and medication adherence. Results: Depressive symptomatology was not significantly related to neuropsychological change (p's>.05). Greater adherence to buprenorphine/naloxone was associated with improvements in learning, memory, and global functioning (r's=.52-60; p's<.05). Conclusions: Among OUD patients, greater adherence to buprenorphine/naloxone is associated with improved neuropsychological functioning over time. In contrast, depressive symptomatology is not associated with neuropsychological functioning over time. Supporting adherence to buprenorphine/naloxone may improve and/or preserve learning and memory functioning in individuals treated for OUD. Trial registration:NCT01108679. Registered 21 April 2010.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number48
JournalSubstance Abuse: Treatment, Prevention, and Policy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 15 2017



  • Adherence
  • Buprenorphine/Naloxone
  • Depression
  • Neuropsychological change
  • Opioid agonist treatment
  • Opioid use disorder

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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