Document Detail

Abuse of amphetamines and structural abnormalities in the brain.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  18991959     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
We review evidence that structural brain abnormalities are associated with abuse of amphetamines. A brief history of amphetamine use/abuse and evidence for toxicity is followed by a summary of findings from structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies of human subjects who had abused amphetamines and children who were exposed to amphetamines in utero. Evidence comes from studies that used a variety of techniques including manual tracing, pattern matching, voxel-based, tensor-based, or cortical thickness mapping, quantification of white matter signal hyperintensities, and diffusion tensor imaging. Ten studies compared controls to individuals who were exposed to methamphetamine. Three studies assessed individuals exposed to 3-4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA). Brain structural abnormalities were consistently reported in amphetamine abusers, as compared to control subjects. These included lower cortical gray matter volume and higher striatal volume than control subjects. These differences might reflect brain features that could predispose to substance dependence. High striatal volumes might also reflect compensation for toxicity in the dopamine-rich basal ganglia. Prenatal exposure was associated with striatal volume that was below control values, suggesting that such compensation might not occur in utero. Several forms of white matter abnormality are also common and may involve gliosis. Many of the limitations and inconsistencies in the literature relate to techniques and cross-sectional designs, which cannot infer causality. Potential confounding influences include effects of pre existing risk/protective factors, development, gender, severity of amphetamine abuse, abuse of other drugs, abstinence, and differences in lifestyle. Longitudinal designs in which multimodal datasets are acquired and are subjected to multivariate analyses would enhance our ability to provide general conclusions regarding the associations between amphetamine abuse and brain structure.
Steven Berman; Joseph O'Neill; Scott Fears; George Bartzokis; Edythe D London
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural; Review    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences     Volume:  1141     ISSN:  1749-6632     ISO Abbreviation:  Ann. N. Y. Acad. Sci.     Publication Date:  2008 Oct 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2008-11-10     Completed Date:  2008-12-12     Revised Date:  2014-09-21    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7506858     Medline TA:  Ann N Y Acad Sci     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  195-220     Citation Subset:  IM    
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MeSH Terms
Abnormalities, Drug-Induced / etiology
Amphetamine-Related Disorders / pathology*
Amphetamines / adverse effects*,  therapeutic use,  toxicity
Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / drug therapy,  pathology
Brain / abnormalities,  drug effects,  pathology*
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Methamphetamine / toxicity
Myelin Sheath / drug effects,  pathology
N-Methyl-3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine / toxicity
Neurons / drug effects
Neurotransmitter Agents / metabolism
Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects
Species Specificity
Grant Support
M01 RR000865/RR/NCRR NIH HHS; M01 RR000865-270065/RR/NCRR NIH HHS; M01 RR00865/RR/NCRR NIH HHS; P20 DA022539/DA/NIDA NIH HHS; P20 DA022539/DA/NIDA NIH HHS; P20 DA022539-01/DA/NIDA NIH HHS; P20 DA022539-02/DA/NIDA NIH HHS; P20 DA022539-03/DA/NIDA NIH HHS; R01 DA015179/DA/NIDA NIH HHS; R01 DA015179/DA/NIDA NIH HHS; R01 DA015179-01A1/DA/NIDA NIH HHS; R01 DA015179-02/DA/NIDA NIH HHS; R01 DA015179-03/DA/NIDA NIH HHS; R01 DA020726/DA/NIDA NIH HHS; R01 DA020726/DA/NIDA NIH HHS; R01 DA020726-01/DA/NIDA NIH HHS; R01 DA020726-02/DA/NIDA NIH HHS; R01 DA020726-03/DA/NIDA NIH HHS; R01 DA020726-04/DA/NIDA NIH HHS; R03 DA020512/DA/NIDA NIH HHS; R03 DA020512-01/DA/NIDA NIH HHS; R03 DA20512/DA/NIDA NIH HHS; R21 DA023192/DA/NIDA NIH HHS; R21 DA023192/DA/NIDA NIH HHS; R21 DA023192-01/DA/NIDA NIH HHS; R21 DA023192-02/DA/NIDA NIH HHS
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Amphetamines; 0/Neurotransmitter Agents; 44RAL3456C/Methamphetamine; KE1SEN21RM/N-Methyl-3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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