Quantifying absolute glutamate concentrations in nucleus accumbens of prescription opioid addicts by using 1H MRS
Objective. The aim of this study was to compare impulsivity and risky decision making among HIV-positive and negative heroin dependent persons. Methods. We compared different dimensions of impulsivity and risky decision making in two groups of 60 HIV-positive and 60 HIV-negative male heroin dependent persons. Each group was comprised of equal numbers of current (treatment seeker) and former (abstinent) heroin addicts. Data collection tools included Balloon Analogue Risk Task (BART), Iowa Gambling Task (IGT), Barratt Impulsiveness Scale (BIS), and Zuckerman Sensation Seeking Scale (SSS). Results. In SSS, comprised of four subscales including thrill and adventure seeking (TAS), experience seeking (ES), disinhibition (DIS), and boredom susceptibility (BS), there was a borderline difference in DIS (P = 0.08) as HIV-positive group scored higher than HIV-negative group. Also, ES and total score were significantly higher among HIV-positive patients. In BART, HIV-positive subjects scored higher in risk taking than HIV-negative subjects as reflected in higher Average Number of puffs in Successful Balloons (ANSB). In BIS, HIV-positive group scored significantly higher in cognitive impulsivity (CI) (P = 0.03) and nonplanning impulsivity (NPI) (P = 0.05) in comparison to HIV-negative group. Also, current heroin addicts scored significantly higher in NPI compared to former addict HIV-negative participants (P = 0.015). IGT did not show any significant difference between groups. Conclusion. Higher levels of impulsivity and risk taking behaviors among HIV-positive heroin addicts will increase serious concerns regarding HIV transmission from this group to other opiate dependents and healthy people.