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[Control of craving for methamphetamine: development of scales for dependence and search for medicines for treatment].

[Article in Japanese]

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  • 1Division of Psychobiology, Tokyo Institute of Psychiatry, 2-1-8 Kamikitazawa, Setagaya-ku, Japan.


Methamphetamine dependence presents a serious problem not only for patients but also for society. Medical treatment has mainly targeted psychotic symptoms such as hallucination and delusion, and ignored the symptoms of craving, which are the major cause of dependence. Therefore, the risk of lapse into methamphetamine reuse remains very high. Although development of both medicines and programs for treatment of craving is needed, progress has been hampered by the lack of appropriate scales for assessing the severity of dependence and craving. On the other hand, recent breakthroughs in genomic sciences and molecular medicine have made it possible to investigate the molecular mechanisms underlying craving in animals. This paper reviews studies on the development of scales for assessing the severity of methamphetamine dependence and craving, together with recent data on candidate medicines for craving treatment in animals. The reliability and validity of the revised Addiction Severity Index -Japanese version (ASI-J) was confirmed after its administration to 100 drug abuse patients. The Craving Index was also newly developed, and its validity for prediction of relapse was confirmed. In animal experiments, fluoxetine, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, was recognized as a candidate medicine for treatment of methamphetamine dependence.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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