Comparison of the influence of alcohol and cannabis on the dynamics of the accommodative response


Purpose:

To assess and compare the changes produced by the two most commonly used substances, alcohol and cannabis, on accommodation dynamics.


Methods:

A total of 38 young participants (19 females) were enrolled in the study. They were assigned to two groups: a cannabis group (N = 19) and an alcohol group. Participants in the cannabis group underwent two randomized sessions: a baseline session and a session after smoking a cigarette. Participants in the alcohol group underwent three randomized sessions: a baseline session, a session after the intake of 300 ml of red wine (Alcohol 1), and other after the ingestion of 450 ml of wine (Alcohol 2). For the accommodation assessment, the open-field autorefractor WAM-5500 was used.


Results:

The decrease of the mean velocity of the accommodative response produced by Alcohol 2 condition was significantly greater than that observed for Alcohol 1 and Cannabis (p = 0.046). The direction of the accommodation (near-distance and distance-near) had no effect on the deterioration of the accommodation dynamics following substance use. The target distance had a significant effect on the decrease of the mean velocity following substance use (p = 0.002). The decrease of the amplitude of the accommodative response was associated with a decrease of the peak velocity (p = 0.004) and the increase of the accommodative lag (p < 0.001).


Conclusions:

A moderate-high dose of alcohol impairs accommodation dynamics to a greater extent that lower dose of alcohol or smoked cannabis. The deterioration of the accommodation mean speed was higher for a shorter target distance.


Keywords:

Accommodation dynamics; Accommodative lag; Accommodative response; Alcohol consumption; Cannabis use; Target distance.

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