Bryan K. Yamamoto received his PhD from Syracuse University in Neurobiology after which, he completed a postdoctoral fellowship in clinical pharmacology at the University of Colorado Medical School. He is Professor and Chair of the Department of Neurosciences at the University of Toledo College of Medicine and Life Sciences. He has been a member of NIH Study Sections since 1987 and a member of several advisory boards of NIH sponsored research centers and programs. His research has focused on how drugs of abuse affect the neurochemistry of brain and has been funded continuously over the last 27 years by the NIH.
Methamphetamine is a drug that is abused worldwide. Emerging clinical studies are supportive of previous preclinical findings from animals that illustrate methamphetamine injures dopamine and serotonin neurotransmitter systems. Results will be presented from animal model studies that demonstrate oxidative and excitotoxic mechanisms are involved which converge to mediate the toxic effects of methamphetamine on dopamine and serotonin neurons. Although these neurochemical findings have traditionally been attributed to the direct action of methamphetamine on the brain, new evidence will be presented indicating that the causes of the neurotoxicity are also initiated by the effects of the drug on systemic organs and circulating small molecules. Moreover, additional studies will be described that demonstrate the toxic effects of methamphetamine are not limited to neurotransmitter systems but also include protracted damage to brain endothelium that comprises the blood-brain barrier. Overall, these recent studies broaden the scope of the causes and consequences associated with the injurious effects of methamphetamine on the brain.
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