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HOME > J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol > Volume 1(1); 2003 > Article
Neurobiological Effects of Methamphetamine Abuse on Neurotransmitters: A Review
Tae Kyung Lee, E. Grant Jon, Suck Won Kim, Dong Yul Oh
Journal of The Korean Society of Clinical Toxicology 2003;1(1):21-26
Published online: June 30, 2003
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1Drug and Alcohol Addiction Center, Seoul National Hospital Seoul
2Department of Psychiatry, Brown University School of Medicine
3Department of Psychiatry, University of Minnesota School of Medicine Minneapolis
4Department of Psychiatry, Kwangdong University, College of Medicine, Myongji Hospital, South

Methamphetamine (MA) is a major drug of abuse in Korea. Currently preliminary evidence suggests that MA dependence may cause long-term neural damage in human. Repeated exposure to psychostimulants such as methamphetamine results in behavioral sensitization, a paradigm thought to be relevant to drug craving and addiction in human. Sensitization alters neural circuitry involved in normal processes of incentrive, motivation, and reward. However the precise mechanism of this behavioral sensitization has not yet been fully elucidated. Repeated use of high dose MA causes neurotoxicity which is characterized by a long-lasting depletion of striatal dopamine (DA) and tyrosin hydroxylase activity of DA, DA-transporter binding sites in the striatum. The loss of DA transporters correlates with memory problems and lack of motor coordination. DA fuels motivation and pleasure, but it' s also crucial for learning and movement. This selective review provides a summary of studies that assess the neurobiological mechanisms of MA.

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JKSCT : Journal of The Korean Society of Clinical Toxicology