Helenna Nakama1, Ryan Shimotsu2, Thomas Ernst3, George Fein2, Linda Chang3
1Department of Psychiatry, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, Hi, USA; 2Neurobehavioral Research, Inc., Honolulu, Hi, USA; 3John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, Hi, USA
Methamphetamine (METH) use can lead to brain gray matter deficits. However, the effect of aging on gray matter volumes has not been studied. Structural MRI was performed in 44 METH users and 34 controls subjects. METH users had a 5 to 8-fold greater age-related decline in temporal and occipital lobe gray matter volumes than healthy non-drug users. These findings suggest that METH users may be more vulnerable to age-related atrophic changes, which might contribute to greater age-related cognitive decline, including dementia.