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Nihon Yakurigaku Zasshi. 2001 Jan;117(1):42-8.

[Amotivational syndrome in organic solvent abusers].

[Article in Japanese]

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  • 1Division of Drug Dependence Research, National Institute of Mental Health, National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry, 1-7-3 Kohnodai, Ichikawa-shi, Chiba-ken 272-0827, Japan.


Amotivational syndrome is a chronic psychiatric disorder characterized by a variety of changes in personality, emotions and cognitive functions such as lack of activity, inward-turning, avolition, apathy, incoherence, blunted affect, inability to concentrate and memory disturbance. The syndrome was first described among those patients with a history of longtime cannabis use in the 1960's. Since then, there have been several reports describing similar psychiatric disorders to amotivational syndrome among patients with the history of some other psychoactive substances use including solvents, methamphetamine and OTC cough syrups. Therefore, the syndrome has been recognized as one of the common psychiatric conditions that might develop in patients with a history of any psychoactive substance use. Recently, more attention has been paid to the biological basis of amotivational syndrome. Several studies using MRI, SPECT or neuropsychological measures have revealed white matter changes, hypoperfusion in the frontal cortex of the brain and impairment of frontal lobe function. Those findings suggest that amotivational syndrome might be related to "hypofrontality" of the brain. Although no specific treatments have been reported to be definitely effective for patients with amotivational syndrome, some neuroleptics with activating properties or antidepressants can be given appropriately to treat the chief symptoms of the patients.

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