Mephedrone may lead to permanent brain damage
Researchers at the University of Sydney found that mephedrone, one of the most popular street drugs, can lead to permanent brain damage. Craig Motbey, a PhD candidate in the University’s School of Psychology and lead author of the research, said that the addiction is very high and that young people come to consume large amounts of this drug in short periods of time.It should be noted that this drug is illegal in Europe, Israel, Australia, New Zealand and USA. Known also as meow meow or MCAT, mephedrone is a drug that belongs to the same class as methamphetamine. It is believed that its effects are similar to methamphetamine and ecstasy consumption.
Researchers believe that mephedrone leads to cognitive impairment. Like other drugs, mephedrone gives euphoria, enhances mood and stimulates mental function. Side effects of this drug are poor concentration, teeth grinding, hallucinations, depression, paranoia etc. There have been described anorexia, palpitations, dyspnea, and others symptoms. Of course, as with other drug consumption, mephedrone leads to addiction. Furthermore, researchers believe that addiction is much faster and more powerful.
To see the effects of this drug on memory, the researchers conducted experiments on laboratory animals. After have administered mephedrone injections once a day for 10 days to the mice, the researchers divided mice into two groups. The first group was analyzed within one hour after the last injection and the second group was analyzed at several weeks. It was found that mice injected with mephedrone had significant cognitive impairment. In addition researchers said the injuries are permanent since cognitive function was evaluated after several weeks. Motbey said that although they found what are that the effects of this drug on memory, they cannot figure out what are the mechanisms by which this drug works. He is hopeful that through further studies will help find the explanation of how this drug affects memory.
Analysis the first group of mice has led researchers to discover how this drug works on the brain. It seems that mephedrone increases rapidly serotonin with rapid catabolism of dopamine. This explains the euphoria (serotonin) and addiction (dopamine). It should be noted that although researchers observed these effects only on the animals receiving high doses of mephedrone, this does not mean that this drug is safe in small doses. In addition, Motbey pointed out that the effects of this drug could be cumulative. In other words, low doses could lead to serious brain damage over time.