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Observations placeholder

Brain injury associated with widely abused amphetamines: neuroinflammation, neurogenesis and blood-brain barrier



Type of Spiritual Experience


Number of hallucinations: 1


We have listed as many classes of drugs based on amphetamines that we are able to find

  • ADHD drugs are amphetamines.
  • Some anti-depressants are amphetamines.
  • Smoking cessation aids can be ampetamines.
  • Obesity treatments are based on amphetamines
  • Appetite suppressants are based on amphetamines.
  • Amphetamines can be found in cough medicines as a 'decongestant' in both over-the-counter cough and cold preparations.
  • Eye drops - used medically in eye drops to dilate the pupil (a process called mydriasis), so that the back of the eye can be examined
  • Selegiline, a substituted phenethylamine,  is used to 'reduce symptoms in early-stage Parkinson's disease'.
  • Mephentermine is a cardiac stimulant. It was formerly used in Wyamine nasal decongestant inhalers and before that as a stimulant in psychiatry.  It has been used as a treatment for low blood pressure

A description of the experience

Curr Drug Abuse Rev. 2010 Dec;3(4):239-54.

Brain injury associated with widely abused amphetamines: neuroinflammation, neurogenesis and blood-brain barrier.

Silva AP1, Martins T, Baptista S, Gonçalves J, Agasse F, Malva JO.

  • 1Laboratory of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Coimbra, Portugal. apmartins@fmed.uc.pt


Over the course of the 20(th) century, it became increasingly clear that amphetamine-like psychostimulants carried serious abuse liability that has resulted in sociological use patterns that have been described as epidemics. In fact, drug addiction is a brain disease with a high worldwide prevalence, and is considered the most expensive of the neuropsychiatric disorders. This review goes beyond the previously well-documented evidence demonstrating that amphetamines cause neuronal injury. Cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in the neurotoxicity of psychostimulants drugs have been extensively described giving particular attention to the role of oxidative stress and metabolic compromise. Recently, it was shown that the amphetamine class of drugs of abuse triggers an inflammatory process, emerging as a critical concept to understand the toxic effects of these drugs. Moreover, it has been suggested that psychostimulants compromise the capacity of the brain to generate new neurons (neurogenesis), and can also lead to blood-brain barrier (BBB) dysfunction. Together, these effects may contribute to brain damage, allowing the entry of pathogens into the brain parenchyma and thus decreasing the endogenous brain repair resources. The overall objective of this review is to highlight experimental evidence in an attempt to clarify the role of neuroinflammation in amphetamines-induced brain dysfunction and the effect of these drugs on both neurogenesis and BBB integrity.

PMID:  21208167

The source of the experience


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