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Drug Alcohol Depend. 2018 Apr 1;185:226-237. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2017.11.029. Epub 2018 Feb 22.

The impact of acute and short-term methamphetamine abstinence on brain metabolites: A proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy chemical shift imaging study.

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health, Groote Schuur Hospital, University of Cape Town, Anzio Rd., Observatory, 7925 Cape Town, South Africa; Neuroscience Institute, University of Cape Town, South Africa. Electronic address: BRGANT010@myuct.ac.za.
2
Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health, Groote Schuur Hospital, University of Cape Town, Anzio Rd., Observatory, 7925 Cape Town, South Africa; Department of Neuroscience, Uppsala University, Sweden.
3
Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health, Groote Schuur Hospital, University of Cape Town, Anzio Rd., Observatory, 7925 Cape Town, South Africa; MRC Unit on Risk & Resilience in Mental Disorders, South Africa; Neuroscience Institute, University of Cape Town, South Africa.
4
Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health, Groote Schuur Hospital, University of Cape Town, Anzio Rd., Observatory, 7925 Cape Town, South Africa; Neuroscience Institute, University of Cape Town, South Africa.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Abuse of methamphetamine (MA) is a global health concern. Previous 1H-MRS studies have found that, with methamphetamine abstinence (MAA), there are changes in n-acetyl-aspartate (NAA/Cr), myo-inositol (mI/Cr), choline (Cho/Cr and Cho/NAA), and glutamate with glutamine (Glx) metabolites. Limited studies have investigated the effect of acute MAA, and acute-to-short-term MAA on brain metabolites.

METHODS:

Adults with chronic MA dependence (n = 31) and healthy controls (n = 22) were recruited. Two-dimensional chemical shift 1H-MRS imaging (TR2000 ms, TE30 ms) slice was performed and included voxels in bilateral anterior-cingulate (ACC), frontal-white-matter (FWM), and dorsolateral-prefrontal-cortices (DLPFC). Control participants were scanned once. The MA group was scanned twice, with acute (1.5 ± 0.6 weeks, n = 31) and short-term MAA (5.1 ± 0.8 weeks, n = 22). The change in 1H-MRS metabolites over time (n = 19) was also investigated. Standard 1H-MRS metabolites are reported relative to Cr + PCr.

RESULTS:

Acute MAA showed lower n-acetyl-aspartate (NAA) and n-acetyl-aspartate with n-acetyl-aspartyl-glutamate (NAA + NAAG) in left DLPFC, and glycerophosphocholine with phosphocholine (GPC + PCh) in left FWM. Short-term MAA showed lower NAA + NAAG and higher myo-inositol (mI) in right ACC, lower NAA and NAA + NAAG in the left DLPFC, and lower GPC + PCh in left FWM. Over time, MAA showed decreased NAA and NAA + NAAG and increased mI in right ACC, decreased NAA and NAA + NAAG in right FWM, and decreased in mI in left FWM.

CONCLUSION:

In acute MAA, there was damage to the integrity of neuronal tissue, which was enhanced with short-term MAA. From acute to short-term MAA, activation of neuroinflammatory processes are suggested. This is the first 1H-MRS study to report the development of neuroinflammation with loss of neuronal integrity in MAA.

KEYWORDS:

(1)H-MRS; Methamphetamine abstinence; Neuroimaging; Neuroinflammation

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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