Brain morphometry in methamphetamine users in relation to cumulative drug exposure
Chang L, Yakupov R, Alicata D, Ramones D, Cloak C, Ernst T
University of Hawaii, John A. Burns School of Medicine
22 current or recently abstinent methamphetamine (METH) users and 27 controls were evaluated with voxel-based morphometry (VBM, SPM2), using 3T MRI. METH-associated differences in gray matter (GM), white matter (WM) and CSF, as well as their relationships with lifetime METH usage, were evaluated. METH subjects had increased frontal WM volumes but decreased CSF volumes in temporo-parietal regions. Increased brain volumes might be due to increased inflammation in these brain regions. METH exposure correlated negatively with frontal and occipital GM volumes and positively with posterior cingulate CSF, suggesting additional brain alterations with heavy METH use.