Title Khat and neurobehavioral functions: A systematic review
Authors Ahmed A. , Ruiz M.J. , Kadosh K.C. , Patton R. , RESURRECCIÓN MENA, DAVINIA MARÍA
External publication No
Means PLoS ONE
Scope Review
Nature Científica
JCR Quartile 2
SJR Quartile 1
Area International
Web https://www.scopus.com/inward/record.uri?eid=2-s2.0-85107815433&doi=10.1371%2fjournal.pone.0252900&partnerID=40&md5=e1057d3102ad092e072345ae617bbef1
Publication date 01/01/2021
Scopus Id 2-s2.0-85107815433
DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0252900
Abstract Background Khat is a plant that is used for its amphetamine-like stimulant properties. However, although khat is very popular in Eastern Africa, Arabian Peninsula, and the Middle East, there is still a lack of studies researching the possible neurobehavioral impairment derived from khat use. Methods A systematic review was conducted to identify studies that assessed the effects of khat use on neurobehavioral functions. MedLine, Scopus, Cochrane, Web of Science and Open Grey literature were searched for relevant publications from inception to December 2020. Search terms included (a) khat and (b) several cognitive domains. References from relevant publications and grey literature were also reviewed to identify additional citations for inclusion. Results A total of 142 articles were reviewed, 14 of which met the inclusion criteria (nine human and five rodent studies). Available human studies suggest that long term khat use is associated with significant deficits in several cognitive domains, including learning, motor speed/coordination, set-shifting/response inhibition functions, cognitive flexibility, short term/working memory, and conflict resolution. In addition, rodent studies indicated daily administration of khat extract resulted in dose-related impairments in behavior such as motor hyperactivity and decreased cognition, mainly learning and memory. Conclusions The findings presented in this review indicates that long-term khat use may be contributing to an impairment of neurobehavioral functions. However, gaps in literature were detected that future studies could potentially address to better understand the health consequences of khat use. Copyright: © 2021 Ahmed et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
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