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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Methamphetamine May Have Long Lasting Side Effects

Methamphetamine, arguably the worst drug ever created by man, may have long lasting side effects that no one could have ever imagined. Meth abuse is still a relatively new problem in the timeline of addiction history, clearly as more research is conducted on the drug the more horrors are coming to the surface regarding the long term effects associated with the drug. This epidemic has sparked a worldwide campaign to understand and rid the world of the terrors this drug unleashes on entire communities. New research suggests that methamphetamine and stimulants like it may cause Parkinson’s disease.

Three groups were researched by scientists conducting the study.
  • 40,000 people hospitalized because of abuse of methamphetamines or amphetamines
  • 207,000 people not addicted to drugs who were admitted to the hospital for appendicitis
  • 35,000 people admitted for cocaine-use disorders

Patients with methamphetamine or amphetamine-use disorders were found to be 76 percent more likely than the other two groups for developing Parkinson’s disease, HealthDay reports.
  • 21 out of 10,000 people with methamphetamine or amphetamine dependence develop Parkinson’s over 10 years
  • 12 out of 10,000 people without this drug dependence

“This study provides evidence of this association for the first time, even though it has been suspected for 30 years, according to lead researcher Dr. Russell Callaghan from the Center for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto. Dr. Callaghan said that Parkinson’s disease is a result of low levels of the chemical dopamine in the brain; animal studies have shown researchers that methamphetamine damages the brain’s dopamine-producing regions.

The study pointed out that people using ADHD medication as prescribed may not fall into the same category due to the fact that the dose they are taking is minimal.

The study appears in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence.

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