Loss of dopamine transporters in methamphetamine abusers recovers with protracted abstinence

N. D. Volkow, L. Chang, G. J. Wang, J. S. Fowler, D. Franceschi, M. Sedler, S. J. Gatley, E. Miller, Robert Hitzemann, Y. S. Ding, J. Logan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

466 Scopus citations


Methamphetamine is a popular drug of abuse that is neurotoxic to dopamine (DA) terminals when administered to laboratory animals. Studies in methamphetamine abusers have also documented significant loss of DA transporters (used as markers of the DA terminal) that are associated with slower motor function and decreased memory. The extent to which the loss of DA transporters predisposes methamphetamine abusers to neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinsonism is unclear and may depend in part on the degree of recovery. Here we assessed the effects of protracted abstinence on the loss of DA transporters in striatum, in methamphetamine abusers using positron emission tomography and [11C]d-threo-methylphenidate (DA transporter radioligand). Brain DA transporters in five methamphetamine abusers evaluated during short abstinence (

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9414-9418
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2001
Externally publishedYes



  • Addiction
  • Detoxification
  • Dopamine terminal
  • Dopamine transporters
  • Imaging
  • Methamphetamine
  • Neurotoxicity
  • Positron emission tomography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this

Volkow, N. D., Chang, L., Wang, G. J., Fowler, J. S., Franceschi, D., Sedler, M., ... Logan, J. (2001). Loss of dopamine transporters in methamphetamine abusers recovers with protracted abstinence. Journal of Neuroscience, 21(23), 9414-9418.