Relationship between N-acetyl-aspartate in gray and white matter of abstinent methamphetamine abusers and their history of drug abuse: A proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy study

Young Hoon Sung, Soo Churl Cho, Jaeuk Hwang, Seog Ju Kim, Hyungjun Kim, Sujin Bae, Namguk Kim, Kee Hyun Chang, Melissa Daniels, Perry F. Renshaw, In Kyoon Lyoo

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69 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: Altered concentrations of the brain metabolites, including N-acetyl-aspartate (NAA) and myo-inositol (MI), may indicate neurotoxicity associated with drug abuse. In this study, the authors explored differences in brain metabolites between abstinent methamphetamine (MA) abusers and healthy comparison subjects and the associations between metabolite concentrations and clinical characteristics. Method: Proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) was performed on 30 abstinent MA abusers and 20 healthy comparison subjects. Two sets of MA user subgroups were defined depending on abstinence duration (greater or less than 6 months) or the total cumulative MA dose (greater or less than 100 g lifetime). NAA and other metabolites were measured in the frontal gray and white matter and compared between MA abuser groups and healthy comparison subjects. Results: MI concentrations were higher for the MA abusers relative to healthy comparison subjects. NAA concentration was lower in frontal white matter of MA abusers with a 'large' cumulative dose relative to those with a 'small' cumulative dose and to healthy comparison subjects. Additionally, in MA abusers NAA concentrations in frontal white matter correlated inversely with the cumulative MA dose. In contrast, there was no significant difference in frontal gray matter NAA concentration among the three groups. However, frontal gray matter NAA concentrations for MA abusers correlated negatively with the total cumulative MA dose and positively with the duration of abstinence. There were no differences between the different MA user groups for MI. Conclusions: The current findings suggest that MA-induced metabolic alterations of frontal gray and white matter are dose-dependent, for primarily male subjects. Additionally, these findings potentially suggest that the MA-related abnormalities may, in part, recover with abstinence in gray matter, but not in the white matter regions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)28-35
Number of pages8
JournalDrug and Alcohol Dependence
Volume88
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 17 Apr 2007

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by a grant (M103KV010022-06K2201-02210 ) from Brain Research Center of the 21st Century Frontier Research Program funded by the Ministry of Science and Technology, the Republic of Korea (60%) (I.K.L.), SNUH grant (21-2003-007-0: I.K.L.), NIDA INVEST Fellowship (Y.H.S.), National Institute on Drug Abuse (DA09448: P.F.R.; DA09448-09S1: I.K.L and P.F.R.) and the National Institute of Mental Health (MH58681: P.F.R.).

Keywords

  • Abstinence
  • Frontal lobe
  • Magnetic resonance spectroscopy
  • Methamphetamine
  • N-Acetyl aspartate
  • Neurotoxicity

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