Christine C. Cloak1, Daniel Alicata2, Linda Chang1, Joanna Ng1, Thomas Ernst1
1Medicine, University of Hawaii, John A Burns School of Medicine, Honolulu, HI, USA; 2Psychiatry, University of Hawaii, John A Burns School of Medicine, Honolulu, HI, USA
Abuse of stimulants like methamphetamine (METH) often begins during adolescence. We used DTI to determine whether METH use during adolescence results in altered brain microstructure. Fourty young METH users and 33 controls were evaluated. METH users showed lower diffusion in the parietal white matter and higher FA in the parietal white matter and thalamus suggesting altered tissue density and organization. However, higher diffusion in the right caudate suggests neuroinflammation and lower FA in the corpus callosum splenium may indicate axonal disruption or disorganization in these METH users. These abnormal DTI measures suggest alterations in brain development associated with METH use.