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Nihon Rinsho. 2010 Aug;68(8):1523-6.

[Biochemical investigation for clinical diagnosis of drug dependence].

[Article in Japanese]

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Department of Legal Medicine, Osaka City University Medical School.


Specific biochemical marker is not available for clinical diagnosis of drug dependence at present. However, drug abuse is accompanied by a decrease in serotonin and the derivative in cerebrospinal fluid, suggesting central serotonergic dysfunction, that is associated with cognitive deficits, alterations in sleep architecture and neuroendocrine function, and increased impulsivity as well as an increase in the risk for aggressive behavior toward the self involving suicide. For central stimulant abusers, elevated plasma catecholamine levels are associated with psychotic episodes and cardiovascular complications involving tachycardia and arrhythmias. Biochemical investigation is useful for predicting drug-induced mental disorders, complications and the prognosis, and also for differentiation from other mental disorders, e.g., secondary to metabolic and infectious diseases, or management of acute intoxication.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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