A Latent Variable Analysis of Psychomotor and Neurocognitive Performance After Acute Cannabis Smoking
Objective. This paper evaluated a novel, tablet-based neurocognitive and psychomotor test battery for detecting impairment from acute cannabis smoking using advanced quantitative methods. The study was conducted in a state with legal, recreational cannabis use and included participants who use cannabis occasionally or daily, and a no use comparison group. Methods. Participants completed a tablet-based test assessing reaction time, decision making, working memory and spatial-motor performance. The test was completed before and after participants smoked cannabis (or after a rest period in the case of controls). An Exploratory Factor Analysis approach was implemented to reduce dimensionality and evaluate correlations across the four assessed domains. Linear regression models were utilized to quantify associations between factor scores and cannabis use groups (daily vs. occasional vs. no use). Results. Seven factors were identified explaining 56.7% of the variance among the 18 measures. Regression models of the change in factors after cannabis smoking indicated those who use cannabis daily demonstrated poorer performance on a latent factor termed Displaced and Delayed (standardized coefficient 0.567, 95% CI: 0.178, 0.955; P = 0.005) compared to those with no use. Those who use cannabis occasionally exhibited a decline in performance on a latent factor termed Recall and Reaction (standardized coefficient 0.714, 95% CI: 0.092, 1.336; P = 0.025) compared to no use. Conclusions. This analysis demonstrates an innovative, quantitative approach to study how cannabis consumption affects neurocognitive and psychomotor performance. Results demonstrated that acute cannabis use is associated with changes in neurocognitive and psychomotor performance, with differences based on the pattern of occasional or daily use.
Copyright (c) 2023 Shelby Smith, Julia Wrobel, Ashley Brooks-Russell, Michael Kosnett, Mary Sammel
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