Dopamine transporters and cognitive function in methamphetamine abuser after a short abstinence: A SPECT study

Eur Neuropsychopharmacol. 2007 Jan;17(1):46-52. doi: 10.1016/j.euroneuro.2006.05.002. Epub 2006 Jul 13.


The purpose of this study was to examine the change of dopamine transporters (DAT) binding in methamphetamine (METH) abusers in a two-week period of abstinence and its association with cognitive function. Seven healthy subjects and seven METH abusers were recruited. At baseline conditions, the values of specific uptake ratio (SUR) of DAT binding measured by single photon emission computed tomography were lower in METH abusers than in controls. After a two-week period of abstinence, DAT binding was partially recovered and there were no statistic differences in SUR between METH abusers and controls. There was a borderline correlation between the changes of DAT binding in the right, but not the left, striatum and the %Error of Wisconsin Card Sorting Test. These findings indicate that DAT binding in METH abusers can be reversed in a short period of abstinence. The recovery of DAT binding was asymmetric and possibly parallel with the improvement of cognitive function.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Amphetamine-Related Disorders / diagnostic imaging
  • Amphetamine-Related Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Brain Mapping
  • Cognition / physiology*
  • Dopamine Plasma Membrane Transport Proteins / metabolism*
  • Dopamine Uptake Inhibitors / administration & dosage*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Methamphetamine / administration & dosage*
  • Radiochemistry / methods
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed, Single-Photon
  • Triterpenes


  • Dopamine Plasma Membrane Transport Proteins
  • Dopamine Uptake Inhibitors
  • Triterpenes
  • correolide
  • Methamphetamine