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Neurology. 2000 Mar 28;54(6):1344-9.

Evidence for long-term neurotoxicity associated with methamphetamine abuse: A 1H MRS study.

Author information

1
Department of Neurology, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, Torrance, CA 90502, USA. Ernst@afp76.humc.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To determine whether proton MRS (1H MRS) can detect long-term metabolite abnormalities in abstinent methamphetamine users.

BACKGROUND:

Methamphetamine is toxic to dopaminergic and serotonergic neurons in rodents; however, little data are available on the toxic effects of methamphetamine on the human brain.

METHODS:

1H MRS was performed in 26 abstinent methamphetamine abusers with a history of methamphetamine dependence (median total cumulative lifetime exposure, 3,640 g; median recency of last methamphetamine use, 4.25 months) and 24 healthy subjects without a history of drug abuse. Cerebral metabolite concentrations on 1H MRS were measured in the frontal cortex, frontal white matter, and basal ganglia.

RESULTS:

The concentration of N-acetylaspartate ([NA]), a neuronal marker, was reduced significantly (-5 to -6%) in the basal ganglia and frontal white matter of methamphetamine users compared with control subjects. The frontal white matter [NA] correlated inversely with the logarithm of the lifetime methamphetamine use. The methamphetamine users also showed significantly reduced total creatine in the basal ganglia (-8%), and increased choline-containing compounds ([CHO], +13%) and myo-inositol ([MI], +11%) in the frontal grey matter.

CONCLUSIONS:

The reduced [NA] on 1H MRS provides evidence for long-term neuronal damage in abstinent methamphetamine users.

PMID:
10746608
DOI:
10.1212/wnl.54.6.1344
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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