Response inhibition has been a core issue in addictive behavior. Many previous studies have found that response inhibition abilities are damaged in those with drug dependence. However, whether heroin addicts who are treated with methadone maintenance have an abnormal response inhibition ability is not clear. In order to investigate the response inhibition functions in heroin addicts who were treated with methadone maintenance, electroencephalography (EEG) was used to examine 14 heroin addicts treated with methadone maintenance (HDM), 17 heroin addicts (HD), and 18 healthy controls (HC) in an equiprobability Go-NoGo task. The reaction times (RTs) for the Go stimuli in the HD group were slower than those in the HDM and HC groups. Event-related potential (ERP) measurements showed that NoGo stimuli elicited larger N2 amplitudes than Go stimuli in the HDM and HC groups. However, for the HD group, the N2 amplitudes were similar for the two conditions. In addition, the HDM and HD groups were associated with longer P3 latencies. Our results demonstrated that methadone maintenance treatment might ease the deficits in response inhibition that result from long-term drug abuse. However, compared to normal people, HDM patients have serious problems evaluating and inhibiting inappropriate behaviors. © 2014, Food and Drug Administration, Taiwan. Published by Elsevier Taiwan LLC. All rights reserved.

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