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Psychiatry Res. 2012 Mar 31;201(3):226-32. doi: 10.1016/j.pscychresns.2011.07.009. Epub 2012 Mar 24.

Decreased cortical complexity in methamphetamine abusers.

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1
Department of Bio and Brain Engineering, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Daejeon, Republic of Korea.

Abstract

This study aimed to investigate if methamphetamine (MA) abusers exhibit alterations in complexity of the electroencephalogram (EEG) and to determine if these possible alterations are associated with their abuse patterns. EEGs were recorded from 48 former MA-dependent males and 20 age- and sex-matched healthy subjects. Approximate Entropy (ApEn), an information-theoretical measure of irregularity, of the EEGs was estimated to quantify the degree of cortical complexity. The ApEn values in MA abusers were significantly lower than those of healthy subjects in most of the cortical regions, indicating decreased cortical complexity of MA abusers, which may be associated with impairment in specialization and integration of cortical activities owing to MA abuse. Moreover, ApEn values exhibited significant correlations with the clinical factors including abuse patterns, symptoms of psychoses, and their concurrent drinking and smoking habits. These findings provide insights into abnormal information processing in MA abusers and suggest that ApEn of EEG recordings may be used as a potential supplementary tool for quantitative diagnosis of MA abuse. This is the first investigation to assess the "severity-dependent dynamical complexity" of EEG patterns in former MA abusers and their associations with the subjects' abuse patterns and other clinical measures.

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