Methamphetamine withdrawal may lead to brain-related concerns for recovering addicts

February 14, 2013

University of Florida researchers have found changes in the behavior and in the brains of mice in withdrawal from methamphetamine addiction. These findings may affect the way physicians treat recovering methamphetamine addicts, the researchers write in the current issue of the journal Synapse.

"When people treat drug addicts, they need to know that during withdrawal, people in recovery may experience cognitive consequences," said Habibeh Khoshbouei, an associate professor of neuroscience and psychiatry in the UF College of Medicine. "Their has changed."

Khoshbouei, Ashley North of Meharry Medical College and their colleagues studied mice during full-blown methamphetamine addiction, examining their behavior and looking at the activity in the hippocampus, a region of the brain known to be involved in and formation. In mice on methamphetamine, they saw no signs of changes in the hippocampal activity or in their observed behavior.

"When the animals were on the drug, they didn't have short-term memory problems," Khoshbouei said.

Next the researchers examined mice in withdrawal from methamphetamine addiction. Once more they studied the behavior and the brain physiology of these mice, and they found a different story. The animals experiencing withdrawal showed changes in their ability to remember things and had a decrease in . They saw these effects in mice two weeks after withdrawal began—the equivalent of a year in humans.

Khoshbouei likened the changes that occurred in the brains of mice experiencing methamphetamine withdrawal to seen in degenerative such as Parkinson's disease.

"Current protocols treat the addiction, but our research shows that there is more to it than that," Khoshbouei said. "They should be treated like they have a chronic disease."

Explore further: Meds can help recovering meth addicts stay sober

Related Stories

Meds can help recovering meth addicts stay sober

June 14, 2012

(Medical Xpress) -- A drug shown to help break alcohol addiction can also help recovering methamphetamine addicts stay clean, a study led by University of Virginia School of Medicine researcher Dr. Bankole A. Johnson has ...

Recommended for you

Engineered blood vessels grow in lambs

September 27, 2016

In a hopeful development for children born with congenital heart defects, scientists said Tuesday they had built artificial blood vessels which grew unaided when implanted into lambs, right into adulthood.

Vigilin, the lock keeper

September 27, 2016

ETH researchers have discovered a molecule in liver cells that controls the release of fat into the bloodstream. This "lock keeper" is present in large quantities in overweight people and leads indirectly to vascular narrowing.

Fighting the aging process at a cellular level

September 22, 2016

It was about 400 BC when Hippocrates astutely observed that gluttony and early death seemed to go hand in hand. Too much food appeared to 'extinguish' life in much the same way as putting too much wood on a fire smothers ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.