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Question
Posted by: psy | 2009-03-23

Meth abuse - long term effects

What are the long term effects of Methamphetamine abuse. Is the fact that the left and right lobes of the brain become damaged and die off, are they ever rejuvenated?
Thanks Doc

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberDoc

Dear Psy
Meth is toxic to the brain, it depletes the brain's neurotransmitters causing severe side effects when stopping (like severe depression). Fortunately, some of the effects of chronic methamphetamine abuse appear to be, at least partially, reversible. A recent scan study showed recovery in some brain regions following prolonged abstinence (>2 years). This was associated with improved performance in memory tests. However, function in other brain regions did not display recovery even after 2 years of abstinence, indicating that some methamphetamine-induced changes are very long-lasting. Moreover, the increased risk of stroke from the abuse of methamphetamine can lead to irreversible damage to the brain.

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Methamphetamine
Dr Bets

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