Executive Dysfunction Associated with Substance Abuse

  • Olga InozemtsevaEmail author
  • Edgar Mejía Núñez


Executive dysfunction is prevalent in substance use disorder. Deficits in working memory, flexibility, decision-making, everyday life executive functioning, emotional, and behavioral regulation have been reported. However, the greatest executive deficit in substance use disorder is in inhibitory control. Disruption in the behavior inhibitory control has been considered, in several theoretical models, as one of the main mechanisms of addictive behavior. Deficits in inhibitory control and impulsivity traits may act as a risk factor for acquisition, maintenance of addiction, as well as for the transition from recreational use of substance to dependence. The presence of impulsive personality traits in substance dependents allows us to suppose about the existence of endophenotypes. The identification of the endophenotypes could be important for the prevention and rehabilitation of substance use disorder. The executive dysfunction in substance users has been related to disruption in the functioning of areas involved on dopaminergic system, including prefrontal cortex, anterior cingulate, basal ganglia, among others.


Executive dysfunction Inhibitory control Impulsivity Behavioral control Dysexecutive syndrome 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Instituto de Neurociencias, CUCBA; Departamento de Estudios En Educación, CUCSHUniversidad de GuadalajaraGuadalajaraMexico
  2. 2.Instituto de NeurocienciasUniversidad de GuadalajaraGuadalajaraMexico

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