Neuroscience

Sex, Drugs, and Rock and Roll

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Science  06 Jun 2003:
Vol. 300, Issue 5625, pp. 1479
DOI: 10.1126/science.300.5625.1479b

Methamphetamine and some of its congeners are popular as artificial stimulants and can have neurotoxic effects, primarily via the elevated release of neurotransmitters and oxidative stress. Brown et al. have examined another effect of methamphetamine, which is an increase in body and brain temperatures. In male rats, they find that temperatures can rise by almost 4C and that hyperthermia lasts for hours. The brain warms before the body, indicating a neurally triggered rather than a movement-driven pathway. The warming was enhanced by the introduction of a female rat into the cage, leading to one fatality at the highest drug dosage. In the context of earlier work that demonstrated a potentiation by loud music of methamphetamine-induced repair responses in brain glial cells, it appears that environmental factors can influence the potency of drugs of abuse.—GJC

J. Neurosci. 23, 3924 (2003

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