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Published on February 24th, 2017 | from CAMH

Studying Substance Use using Brain Imaging Techniques

Substance use disorders can be detrimental to one’s social and personal well-being. A 2012 research study reported that there are nearly 52,000 methamphetamine users in Canada. Given the negative consequences of drug abuse, it is important to understand the course of substance use disorders and develop effective treatment.

Our research group is currently using imaging techniques to observe and study brain functioning and substance abuse. We are studying the brain’s immune response of people affected by substance use disorder. This will help us learn more about the condition and also potentially guide treatment options.

We are looking for individuals aged 19 years or older who currently regularly use methamphetamine. We will use PET (Positron Emission Tomography) and MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) scans to look at whether brain inflammation occurs in methamphetamine addiction.

The study includes three sessions:

  1. A Screening visit (approximately three hours)
  2. An MRI Scan along with memory and cognitive tests (approximately four hours)
  3. A PET Session during which you will complete one or two PET scans (up to seven hours in total)

To be eligible, volunteers must meet the following criteria:

  • 19 years or older
  • Currently use methamphetamine regularly
  • Able to provide a hair sample ≥ 1.5 inches to confirm methamphetamine use
  • No medical or psychiatric problems
  • Not pregnant/breastfeeding
  • Not claustrophobic
  • No metal implants that could interfere with MRI
  • Not participated in any PET studies in the past 12 months

You will receive compensation for your time, including transportation and meals.

For more information about this research study, please contact:

Tina McCluskey
(416) 535-8501 ext. 36241
Tina.mccluskey@camh.ca

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