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Addict Biol. 2005 Sep;10(3):293-7.

Neuroimaging studies of brain corpus striatum changes among heroin-dependent patients treated with herbal medicine, U'finer capsule.

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  • 1Department of Nuclear Medicine, Shenzhen Hospital, Peking University, Shenzhen, China.


Chronic exposure to heroin is associated with structural changes in dopaminergic (DA) neurones. The present study examined the effects of a new herbal medicine, U'finer capsule, on the brain corpus striatum and DA systems, comparing pre- and post- treatment in 36 heroin-dependent patients. Neuroimaging studies were performed by using single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) with 99mTc-TRODAT-1 as radiotracer. The results show that U'finer significantly repaired the damaged bilateral corpus striatum, restoring it to a 'panda eye' shape, analogous in size and shape to that of the healthy volunteers. DA transporter (DAT) function in the bilateral corpus striatum was restored to a normal state after recovery from neurotoxic insult. These findings suggest that U'finer is a reliable herbal medicine in the treatment of heroin dependency.

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