Methamphetamine-Induced Neuronal Damage: Neurotoxicity and Neuroinflammation

  • Received : 2020.03.24
  • Accepted : 2020.06.25
  • Published : 2020.09.01


Methamphetamine (METH) is a highly addictive psychostimulant and one of the most widely abused drugs worldwide. The continuous use of METH eventually leads to drug addiction and causes serious health complications, including attention deficit, memory loss and cognitive decline. These neurological complications are strongly associated with METH-induced neurotoxicity and neuroinflammation, which leads to neuronal cell death. The current review investigates the molecular mechanisms underlying METH-mediated neuronal damages. Our analysis demonstrates that the process of neuronal impairment by METH is closely related to oxidative stress, transcription factor activation, DNA damage, excitatory toxicity and various apoptosis pathways. Thus, we reach the conclusion here that METH-induced neuronal damages are attributed to the neurotoxic and neuroinflammatory effect of the drug. This review provides an insight into the mechanisms of METH addiction and contributes to the discovery of therapeutic targets on neurological impairment by METH abuse.



This research was supported by Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education (NRF-2016R1A6A1A03011325), and by the Keimyung University Research Grant of 2018 (BDP).


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