advertisement
24 February 2015

'Tik' does more damage to teen brains

Compared to adult methamphetamine users, teen 'tik' users experience greater and more widespread changes in their brains.

1

Long-term use of methamphetamine (tik) causes more brain damage in teens than adults, a new study finds.

More widespread changes

Researchers conducted MRI brain scans of 51 teen and 54 adult chronic methamphetamine abusers. They compared those scans to those of 60 teens and 60 adults who didn't use the drug. The study participants were all from South Korea.

Compared to the adult methamphetamine users, the teen methamphetamine users had greater and more widespread changes in their brains. The damage was especially evident in the frontal cortex, an area believed to be involved in people's ability to organise, reason and remember things (cognitive ability).

Read: Tik as bad as car crash

"It's particularly unfortunate that meth appears to damage that part of the brain which is still developing in young people and is critical for cognitive ability," study author Dr. In Kyoon Lyoo, of Ewha W. University in Seoul, South Korea, said in a University of Utah Health Sciences news release.

"Damage to that part of the brain is especially problematic because adolescents' ability to control risky behaviour is less mature than that of adults. The findings may help explain the severe behavioural issues and relapses that are common in adolescent drug addiction," Lyoo said.

Greater damage

"There is a critical period of brain development for specific functions, and it appears that adolescents who abuse methamphetamine are at great risk for derailing that process," study senior author Dr. Perry Renshaw, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Utah, said in the news release.

Read: Tik's hidden risks

Teens typically use smaller amounts of methamphetamine than adults, so these findings suggest that it takes much less methamphetamine to cause greater damage in teens' brains than it would in adults, according to the authors of the study.

Results were published recently in the journal Molecular Psychiatry.

"I think the results show it is hugely important to keep kids off drugs," Renshaw added.

Read more:

Tik affects brain development

The real cost of tik

Tik users at risk for heart attack

Image: Crystal meth (tik) from Shutterstock

Copyright © 2016 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

 
NEXT ON HEALTH24X
advertisement

Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Live healthier

The debate continues »

Working out in the concrete jungle 7 top butt exercises for guys 10 things pole dancing can do for you

The running vs. walking debate

There are many different theories when it comes to the running vs. walking for health and weight loss.

Veganism a crime? »

Running the Comrades Marathon on a vegan diet Are vegans unnatural beasts? Can a vegan be really healthy?

Should it be a crime to raise a baby on vegan food?

After a number of cases of malnourishment in Italy, it may become a crime to feed children under 16 a vegan diet.