Author(s): Yui K, Goto K, Ikemoto S
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Abstract The role of dopaminergic activity in susceptibility of methamphetamine (MAP) psychosis (flashbacks) to subsequent spontaneous recurrences was studied. Plasma monoamine metabolite levels were assayed in 23 flashbackers, of whom 10 experienced a single flashback, 8 exhibited subsequent flashbacks and 5 with the last episode; 18 nonflashbackers with a history of MAP psychosis; 9 subjects with persistent MAP psychosis; and 19 MAP user and 10 nonuser controls. All flashbackers had undergone frightening stressful experiences during previous MAP use. Their flashbacks were triggered by mild psychosocial stressors. Plasma norepinephrine (NE) levels increased with the increase in plasma levels of 3-methoxytyramine (3-MT), an index of dopamine release, during flashbacks in the 23 flashbackers. Of these, the 8 with subsequent episodes had markedly increased NE levels and increased 3-methoxytyramine levels during flashbacks. However, the 5 flashbackers with the last episode had moderately increased NE levels, and the 10 with a single episode displayed small increases in NE levels during flashbacks. Their 3-MT levels did not significantly differ from the levels in the control groups. Thus, increased DA release in addition to robust noradrenergic hyperactivity in response to mild psychosocial stressors may be important in susceptibility to subsequent flashbacks.
This article was published in Ann N Y Acad Sci
and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy