The Connection Between Meth Use and Schizophrenia

A study conducted by Australian researchers at the University of Sydney have found that brain damage caused by continuous methamphetamine abuse looks very similar to the brain of a person with schizophrenia.

 

In the study, researchers injected lab rats with methamphetamine repeatedly. They found that this led to an increase in locomotor activity by way of behavior. The changes in behavior were similar to that found in patients with schizophrenia. Researchers came to this conclusion by examining the expressed proteins in the prefrontal cortex of the brain. Examining these proteins is how we can determine any damage caused by drug use or psychotic disorders.

 

So, what conclusion can we come to based on this research? The original goal of the experiments was not to develop techniques to help aid in the treatment of substance abuse, but to develop further insight into how we can treat psychotic disorders like schizophrenia. Because the neurological results seen in the rats injected with methamphetamine were only previously seen in schizophrenic patients, researchers determined that this type of stimulation should be avoided when treating schizophrenia.

 

You can read more into the study here.