In vivo evidence for long-term CNS toxicity, associated with chronic binge use of methamphetamine

Yong An Chung, Bradley S. Peterson, Sujung J. Yoon, Sung Nam Cho, Sukhi Chai, Jaeseung Jeong, Dai Jin Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: The aim of this study was to examine disturbances in regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) associated with methamphetamine abuse. Methods: Using Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT), rCBF was measured in 20 men who had previously injected methamphetamine intravenously for over 30 months and who were now abstinent for a minimum of 9 months and for an average of 2 years. Values were compared with those in 12 healthy men who had never injected methamphetamine. Results: While rCBF was significantly and disproportionately reduced in subcortical and dorsal cortical brain regions, including the striatum, thalamus, cingulum, mesiodorsal prefrontal cortex, and pons (all t's >8.3 after global normalization, corrected p's <0.001), whole brain CBF was also significantly reduced in the former methamphetamine users. Binge use of methamphetamine is associated with long-term changes in both global and regional blood flows, likely representing severe and enduring neural toxicity of monoaminergic neurotransmitter systems in the brain, producing a pattern of hypoperfusion that resembles patterns reported previously for persons with atypical Parkinson's disease. Conclusions: These findings suggest that methamphetamine abusers may be possibly at increased risk for neurodegenerative diseases later in life.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)155-160
Number of pages6
JournalDrug and Alcohol Dependence
Volume111
Issue number1-2
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2010

Keywords

  • Cerebral blood flow
  • Methamphetamine
  • SPECT
  • SPM
  • Toxicity

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