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NIDA. (2002, June 5). Study Reports Preliminary Findings Related to Methamphetamine . Retrieved from

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June 05, 2002

Scientists from The Ohio State University are examining the interaction between methamphetamine use and feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) to determine whether such research may offer insights that would aid in developing treatments for drug-using individuals who are infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

In their study published in the June issue of the Journal of Neurovirology, the researchers found that methamphetamine exposure significantly increased the replication of FIV in certain brain cells called astrocytes, suggesting that the amount of FIV also may be increased in the brain. Astrocytes, star-shaped cells that comprise the largest cell population in the brain, provide structural and physiological support for brain neurons.

Dr. Glen R. Hanson, Acting Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), says, "It is well known that psychostimulants such as methamphetamine are detrimental to the immune system and can cause progressive neurodegeneration that may negatively affect the Central Nervous System and lead to dementia. This research suggests that we need to examine the possibility that there is a connection between methamphetamine use and a potential increase in HIV-related dementia."