Cognitive functions associated with consumption of traditional volumes of kava (Piper methysticum): A feasibility study
Aporosa, S. ‘Apo’. (2019). Cognitive functions associated with consumption of traditional volumes of kava (Piper methysticum): A feasibility study. Journal of Psychopharmacology, 33(8).
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/12792
Kava (Piper methysticum) is a traditional and culturally significant Pacific Island beverage, which contains active compounds called kavalactones that produce soporific relaxant effects similar to Benzodiazepine (Sarris et al, 2012, Human Psychopharmacology Clinical and Experimental, 27:262-9). Traditional kava drinkers frequently exceed the pharmacologically recommended amount of ≤300mg of kavalactones/day by 30 times (Aporosa & Tomlinson, 2014, Anthropologica, 56:163-75). Little is known about cognitive function at this high consumption rate. With Pacific peoples in New Zealand over represented in motor vehicle accidents, Police suspect traditional kava use may be a contributing factor. Previous research (Aporosa, 2017, Journal of Psychopharmacology, 31, A84) used an industry standard measure of drug driving to examine cognitive functions of kava users in a naturalistic setting. The industry standard measure revealed no statistical differences in cognitive functioning between kava users and control participants, despite observation of slowed movement and slurred speech by the kava users. Consequently, with full study utility as a goal, the feasibility of using a new psychometric measure of cognitive functioning – the Brain Gauge (BG) – was examined in a naturalistic setting.
Published in the Abstract Supplement to the Journal of Psychopharmacology 33(8). © 2019 Sage. Used with permission.