Meth Induces Parkinson's Disease

Long after quitting

When taking meth, a burst of dopamine makes you euphoric, extremely dynamic, full of energy and you do not even need to eat. But after that, blood pressure increases and there is a risk of stroke and severe heart issues, besides hallucinations.

Methamphetamine (also known as meth, crank, crystal and speed), a powerfully addictive drug, has been used by more than 12 million people in the US. Celebrities like Fergie from the Black Eyed Peas have had a long publicized battle with the drug.

It is a psychostimulant and sympathomimetic chemical, prescribed for severe cases of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (narcolepsy) as Desoxyn. It can be taken orally, injected, snorted or smoked. Most users are 18 to 34 years old. It is known that in just one year, the drug users can lose all their teeth (the "meth mouth").

Users become obsessed, doing repetitive tasks like cleaning, hand-washing, or assembling and disassembling objects. Withdrawal induces excessive sleeping, eating and depression-like symptoms, besides anxiety and drug-craving.

But the drug makes more than 'stealing' your teeth and personality: a new research shows that young adults consuming methamphetamine are more likely to experience age-related brain diseases/disorders long after they interrupt the consume. Thus, even if the drug's current use may not produce immediate results, the issues will install as the person grows old.

The methamphetamine administered for a long time on the mice appeared to partially reduce the glial derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF), a protein that protects and resinthesizes dopamine, which is a crucial brain neurotransmitter connected to motor control, and whose lack is a main factor causing Parkinson's disease.

"These studies speak directly to the possibility of long-term public health consequences resulting from the current epidemic of methamphetamine abuse among young adults. Methamphetamine intoxication in any young adult may have deleterious consequences later in life, although they may not be apparent until many decades after the exposure," said Jacqueline McGinty, researcher at the Medical University of South Carolina.

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