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Pharmacol Rep. 2009 Nov-Dec;61(6):966-77.

Methamphetamine-induced neurotoxicity: the road to Parkinson's disease.

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Department of Pharmacological Sciences, Harrison School of Pharmacy, Auburn University, 4306 Walker building, Auburn, AL 36849, USA.


Studies have implicated methamphetamine exposure as a contributor to the development of Parkinson's disease. There is a significant degree of striatal dopamine depletion produced by methamphetamine, which makes the toxin useful in the creation of an animal model of Parkinson's disease. Parkinson's disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder associated with selective degeneration of nigrostriatal dopaminergic neurons. The immediate need is to understand the substances that increase the risk for this debilitating disorder as well as these substances'neurodegenerative mechanisms. Currently, various approaches are being taken to develop a novel and cost-effective anti-Parkinson's drug with minimal adverse effects and the added benefit of a neuroprotective effect to facilitate and improve the care of patients with Parkinson's disease. Amethamphetamine-treated animal model for Parkinson's disease can help to further the understanding of the neurodegenerative processes that target the nigrostriatal system. Studies on widely used drugs of abuse, which are also dopaminergic toxicants, may aid in understanding the etiology, pathophysiology and progression of the disease process and increase awareness of the risks involved in such drug abuse. In addition, this review evaluates the possible neuroprotective mechanisms of certain drugs against methamphetamine-induced toxicity.

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