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Methamphetamine withdrawal associated with brain changes seen in mood disorders

. On the day of the scan, participants rated their symptoms of depression and anxiety. The methamphetamine abusers also rated their cravings for the drug within 48 hours of the scan. The scientists found that methamphetamine abusers reported higher ratings of depression and anxiety than nonabusers.

The PET scans showed that the two groups exhibited significant differences in glucose metabolism in specific brain regions. In methamphetamine abusers, glucose metabolism was lower in brain regions linked to depressive disorders, depressed mood, and sadness. It was higher in brain regions linked to anxiety and drug cravings.

"Improving our awareness of substance abuse as a condition that does not exist in isolation will contribute to more effective prevention and treatment interventions," says Dr. Volkow.


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Contact: Blair Gately
bgately@nida.nih.gov
301-443-6245
NIH/National Institute on Drug Abuse
5-Jan-2004


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