Philip Koester, Marc Tittgemeyer, Daniel Wagner, Benjamin Becker,
Euphrosyne Gouzoulis-Mayfrank, Jörg Daumann
Accumulating evidence supports the hypothesis of ecstasy and amphetamine exhibiting neurotoxic properties in human recreational users. The extent and exact location of neuronal degeneration might also be associated with a specific profile of cognitive deterioration described in polydrug users. Voxelbased morphometry and cortical thickness analyses constantly gain attention for answering the question of associated neurological sequelae.
We aimed to evaluate the integrity of cortical and subcortical structures in three groups that differ in the consumption of amphetamine-type stimulants. Cortical thickness, cortical grey matter volume and the shape of supposedly vulnerable subcortical structures were compared between 20 experienced users, 42 users with little exposure to these substances and 16 drug- naïve controls. Cortical thinning in experienced users compared to drug-naïve controls and low-exposure users was observed in medio-frontal regions.