Regional cerebral blood flow in cocaine- versus methamphetamine-dependent patients with a history of alcoholism
Although abuse of cocaine or methamphetamine usually takes place in the context of heavy drinking, there is little information on the effects of such substance use comorbidity on brain perfusion. We explored similarities and differences in the effects of these two drugs in combination with alcohol on brain function using SPECT. Global and regional cerebral blood flow (CBF) were examined in 7 abstinent cocaine-dependent alcoholics (CDA; mean age = 39.2 yr, S.D. = 9.2 yr), 7 abstinent methamphetamine-dependent alcoholics (MDA; mean age = 36.8 yr, S.D. = 5.0 yr), and 7 non-alcoholic/non-stimulant abusing controls (NAC; mean age = 37.3 yr, S.D. = 9.6 yr). MDA had significantly lower global CBF than CDA who, in turn, were significantly lower than NAC. In addition, CDA had abnormal perfusion in the superior posterior frontal region compared to NAC; while MDA did not display specific regional deficits. Therefore, it appears that cocaine alters the relationship between global and regional CBF in alcoholics, while methamphetamine does not.(Received June 11 2000)
(Reviewed August 30 2000)
(Revised December 31 2000)
(Accepted January 3 2001)
Key Words: Cocaine; methamphetamine; alcohol abuse; SPECT.
c1 Address for correspondence: Dr I. Grant, Psychiatry Service (116A), VA San Diego Healthcare System, San Diego, California 92161, USA. Tel.: (858) 534-3652 Fax: (858) 534-7723 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org