Navigation Links
Methamphetamine Abuse, HIV Infection Cause Changes in Brain Structure

New research published in the August 2005 issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry indicates that methamphetamine abuse and HIV infection cause significant alterations in the size of certain brain structures, and in both cases the changes may be associated with impaired cognitive functions, such as difficulties in learning new information, solving problems, maintaining attention and quickly processing information. Co-occurring methamphetamine abuse and HIV infection appears to result in greater impairment than each condition alone.

“Methamphetamine abuse is linked with HIV, hepatitis C, and other sexually transmitted diseases, not only by the use of contaminated injection equipment, but also due to increased risky sexual behaviors,?says Dr. Nora D. Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), National Institutes of Health, which helped support the research. “These findings show that methamphetamine abuse and HIV infection each cause significant changes in the volume of brain gray matter structures and cognitive function.?/p>

Scientists led by Dr. Terry Jernigan of the HIV Neurobehavioral Research Center of the University of California-San Diego conducted brain scans to analyze structural volume changes in 103 adults divided among four populations: methamphetamine abusers who were HIV-positive; methamphetamine abusers who were HIV-negative; nonabusers who were HIV-positive; and nonabusers who were HIV-negative. They also assessed the ability to think and reason using a detailed battery of tests that examined speed of information processing, attention/working memory, learning and delayed recall, abstraction/executive functioning, verbal fluency, and motor functioning.

They observed that methamphetamine abuse is associated with increases in the volume of the brain’s parietal cortex (which helps people to understand and pay attention to what’s going on around them) and basal ganglia (linked to motor function and motivation). HIV infection is associated with prominent volume losses in the cerebral cortex (involved in higher thought, reasoning, and memory), basal ganglia, and hippocampus (involved in memory and learning).

The scientists stress that among the recent methamphetamine abusers in the study, the degree of volume increase in the parietal cortex was associated with worse cognitive function.

“In HIV-infected people, the cognitive impairments are associated with decreased employment and vocational abilities, difficulties with medication management, impaired driving performance, and problems with general activities of daily living, such as managing money,?says Dr. Jernigan. “The impact of methamphetamine on daily functioning is less well studied, although it is known that abusers of the drug have impaired decision-making abilities. These could potentially affect treatment and relapse prevention efforts, as well as things like money management and driving performance.?/p>

The brain volume changes associated with methamphetamine abuse did not correlate with the amount of the drug a person ingested. However, the study results suggest that younger methamphetamine abusers showed larger effects in some brain regions. Among HIV-infected individuals, the researchers noted a direct association between the severity of the infection and greater loss of brain matter.

In methamphetamine abusers who are also HIV-positive, decreased volumes are correlated with increased cognitive impairment in one brain region, the hippocampus.

Dr. Jernigan explains that the changes seen in brain structures could be the result of inflammation in the brain and/or compensatory changes associated with methamphetamine toxicity. Also, brain inflammation associated with HIV infection may contribute to brain cell shrinkage or loss.

Dr. Volkow says medications that reduce inflammation might be useful in treating methamphetamine abusers.

“The effects of methamphetamine and H IV on the brain are distinct but may affect the same brain regions, so understanding how the underlying mechanisms interact also may lead to more effective therapies and the information should be useful in guiding future studies,?Dr. Volkow concludes.


'"/>

Source:NIH


Related biology news :

1. Comparison of Cocaine, Methamphetamine ‘Highs?Finds Differences
2. HIV Infection Still On The Rise
3. Fibril Shape Is The Basis Of Prion Strains And Cross-species Prion Infection
4. Chronic Sinus Infection Thought To Be Tissue Issue, Mayo Clinic Scientists Show Its Snot
5. Infection alarm yields clues to immune system behavior
6. Infections could contribute to adult brain tumours
7. Infection detectives use disease fingerprints to track common infections in children
8. UF Researchers Map Bacterial Proteins That Cause Tooth Loss
9. New Estimates For The Causes Of Child Deaths Worldwide
10. Researchers Identify Cause of Early Bird Sleep Disorder
11. Missing Receptor Molecule Causes Tumor Growth
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:1/23/2017)... 2017  The latest mobile market research from Acuity ... dramatically. The quarterly average price of a biometric smartphone ... Q4 2016.  There are now 120 sub-$150 models on ... from just 28 a year ago at an average ... Maxine Most , Acuity Market Intelligence Principal, "Biometric Smartphones ...
(Date:1/18/2017)...  In vitro diagnostic (IVD) companies were very active ... and Kalorama Information expects that trend to continue – ... Generally, uncertainty in reimbursement and healthcare reform in ... the acquisitions landscape. Instead of looking to buy technology, ... outside of their home country and also to increase ...
(Date:1/12/2017)...  New research undertaken by Fit Small Business ... participants were simply asked which office technology had they not ... standard issue.  Insights on what will be key ... futurists and industry leaders including Penelope Trunk , ... Some of these findings included; ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/16/2017)... 16, 2017   Biostage, Inc. (Nasdaq: ... company developing bioengineered organ implants to treat cancers and ... announced today the closing on February 15, 2017 of ... common stock and warrants to purchase 20,000,000 shares of ... The offering was priced at $0.40 per share of ...
(Date:2/16/2017)...  Dermata Therapeutics, LLC, a biotechnology company developing ... of dermatological diseases, today announced it has completed ... into a $5 million credit facility with Silicon ... capital for general corporate purposes to further Dermata,s ... of serious diseases treated by dermatologists.   ...
(Date:2/16/2017)...  Windtree Therapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq: WINT ... KL4 surfactant therapies for respiratory diseases, announced today ... that aerosolized KL4 surfactant reduced lung inflammation and ... model. The Company believes that these preclinical data ... supports the role of KL4 surfactant as a ...
(Date:2/16/2017)... ... February 16, 2017 , ... ... industry leading Biochemistry Services specifically targeting the rapidly growing needs of the ... the biochemical and biosimilar characterization , product-related impurity characterization, aggregation ...
Breaking Biology Technology: