Prefrontal grey matter changes in short-term and long-term abstinent methamphetamine abusers (2006)

Int J Neuropsychopharmacol. 2006 Apr;9(2):221-8. Epub 2005 Jun 28.

Kim SJ, Lyoo IK, Hwang J, Chung A, Hoon Sung Y, Kim J, Kwon DH, Chang KH, Renshaw PF.


Gil Medical Center, Gachon Medical School, Department of Psychiatry, Incheon, South Korea.


Authors explored grey-matter density in 29 methamphetamine abusers and 20 healthy comparison subjects using voxel-based morphometry. Grey-matter density changes and performances on the Wisconsin Card Sorting test (WCST) were also compared between 11 short-term (<6 months) and 18 long-term (>or=6 months) abstinent methamphetamine abusers. Methamphetamine abusers had lower grey-matter density in the right middle frontal cortex (corrected p<0.05) and more total errors in the WCST (p<0.01) relative to healthy comparison subjects. Grey-matter density decrease in the right middle frontal cortex correlated with total errors in the WCST in methamphetamine abusers (r=-0.45). Long-term abstinent abusers had significantly less right middle frontal grey-matter density decrease (p<0.01) and total errors in the WCST (p<0.01) than short-term abstinent abusers, but more than the healthy comparison subjects. We report that methamphetamine abusers have prefrontal grey-matter deficit, which may, in part, recover with long-term abstinence