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CMAJ. 2008 Jun 17;178(13):1679-82. doi: 10.1503/cmaj.071675.

Pharmacologic mechanisms of crystal meth.

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry and Pharmacology, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ont. stephen_kish@camh.net

Abstract

Crystal meth is a form of the stimulant drug methamphetamine that, when smoked, can rapidly achieve high concentrations in the brain. Methamphetamine causes the release of the neurotransmitters dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin and activates the cardiovascular and central nervous systems. The levels of dopamine are low in the brain of some drug users, but whether this represents neuronal loss is uncertain. The areas of the brain involved in methamphetamine addiction are unknown but probably include the dopamine-rich striatum and regions that interact with the striatum. There is no medication approved for the treatment of relapses of methamphetamine addiction; however, potential therapeutic agents targeted to dopamine and nondopamine (e.g., opioid) systems are in clinical testing.

PMID:
18559805
PMCID:
PMC2413312
DOI:
10.1503/cmaj.071675
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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