Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Brain Region Recovery Possible In Former Methamphetamine Users

Date:
April 22, 2005
Source:
Journal Of The American Medical Association
Summary:
Adaptive changes in chemical activity in certain regions of the brain of former methamphetamine users who have not used the drug for a year or more suggest some recovery of neuronal structure and function, according to an article in the April issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

CHICAGO — Adaptive changes in chemical activity in certain regions of the brain of former methamphetamine users who have not used the drug for a year or more suggest some recovery of neuronal structure and function, according to an article in the April issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Methamphetamine use has been shown to cause abnormalities in brain regions associated with selective attention and regions associated with memory, according to background information in the article. Recent animal and human studies suggest that neuronal changes associated with long-term methamphetamine use may not be permanent but may partially recover with prolonged abstinence.

Thomas E. Nordahl, M.D., Ph.D., of the University of California, Davis, and colleagues compared eight methamphetamine users who had not used methamphetamine for one to five years and 16 recently abstinent methamphetamine users who had not used the drug for one to six months with 13 healthy, non-substance-using controls using a method of brain imaging, proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS), that allows the visualization of biochemical markers that are linked with damage and recovery to the neurons in the brain.

The researchers measured biomarkers in the anterior cingulum cortex, a region of the brain associated with selective attention. Levels of N-acetylaspartate (NAA), which is present only in neurons, were measured as a marker of the amount of damage (neuronal loss). Choline (Cho), which is generated by the creation of new membranes and, the authors write, "may be an ideal marker to track changes consistent with neuronal recovery associated with drug abstinence," was measured as a biomarker of recovery.

Levels of NAA were abnormally low in all the methamphetamine users, the authors found. Levels were lower relative to the length of methamphetamine use, but did not change relative to the amount of time that the methamphetamine users had been abstinent. The researchers found elevated Cho levels in the methamphetamine users who had not used the drug in one to six months, but normalized levels in the longer abstainers. "In the early periods following methamphetamine exposure, the brain may undergo several processes leading to increased membrane turnover. The relative Cho normalization across periods of abstinence suggests that when drug exposure is terminated, adaptive changes occur, which may contribute to some degree of normalization of neuronal structure and function," they write.

"The understanding of how the human brain can recover or partially recover as a function of extended drug abstinence has important implications both for the neurobiology of addiction and substance abuse treatment," the authors conclude. "Additional longitudinal studies...are needed to further understand the underlying physiological changes of stimulant drugs on the human brain."

(Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2005;62:444-452. Available post-embargo at archgenpsychiatry.com)

Editor's Note: This study was supported by grants from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Bethesda, Md.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Journal Of The American Medical Association. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Journal Of The American Medical Association. "Brain Region Recovery Possible In Former Methamphetamine Users." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 April 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/04/050420092054.htm>.
Journal Of The American Medical Association. (2005, April 22). Brain Region Recovery Possible In Former Methamphetamine Users. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/04/050420092054.htm
Journal Of The American Medical Association. "Brain Region Recovery Possible In Former Methamphetamine Users." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/04/050420092054.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

AFP (July 24, 2014) A so-called drugs rehab 'clinic' is closed down in Pakistan after police find scores of ‘patients’ chained up alleging serial abuse. Duration 03:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) A study by German researchers claims watching TV while you're stressed out can make you feel guilty and like a failure. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
China's Ageing Millions Look Forward to Bleak Future

China's Ageing Millions Look Forward to Bleak Future

AFP (July 24, 2014) China's elderly population is expanding so quickly that children struggle to look after them, pushing them to do something unexpected in Chinese society- move their parents into a nursing home. Duration: 02:07 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:

          Free Subscriptions


          Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

          Get Social & Mobile


          Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

          Have Feedback?


          Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
          Mobile: iPhone Android Web
          Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
          Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
          Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins