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Title: The effects of morphine and oxycodone on memory in humans
Author: Friswell, J.
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2006
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The side effects of opiates are an important area of study as detriments to activities of daily living and to quality of life might outweigh detriments caused by untreated pain. Furthermore there has been relatively little research into the cognitive effects of opiates. This thesis aims to explore the effects of morphine and oxycodone on memory. Part one of the thesis comprises a literature review of the cognitive effects of opiates. It presents an overview of the current levels of understanding as well as highlighting the clinical importance of furthering our understanding. It also briefly raises the question of how gender may interact with the drug effects. Part 2 comprises the empirical paper. It reports a randomised, placebo-controlled, double-blind study comparing the effects of 10 mg morphine, 5 mg oxycodone and placebo on 18 healthy volunteers. The findings were that these doses did not produce significant impairments in most cognitive measures, and there was no retrograde memory impairment as was seen in a previous similar study involving cancer patients. It found some subtle drug effects on working memory, episodic memory and subjective experiences. More importantly, it revealed some subtle interactions of gender and weight with drug implying that the current practice of prescribing doses of oral opiates that are not determined by weight and gender may be inappropriate. Part 3 comprises a critical appraisal of the research. It includes a description of my personal experience during the research process as well as exploring further issues of validity within the study.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available