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Cocaine-Induced Redoppuction of Glucose Utilization in Human Brain:  A Study Using Positron Emission Tomography and [Fluorine 18]-Fluorodeoxyglucose

Edythe D. London, PhD; Nicola G. Cascella, MD; Dean F. Wong, MD; Robert L. Phillips, PhD; Robert F. Dannals, PhD; Jonathan M. Links, PhD; Ronald Herning, PhD; Roger Grayson, MD; Jerome H. Jaffe, MD; Henry N. Wagner Jr, MD
Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1990;47(6):567-574. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1990.01810180067010.
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• We examined the effects of cocaine hydrochloride (40 mg intravenously) on regional cerebral metabolic rates for glucose and on subjective self-reports of eight polydrug abusers in a double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study. The regional cerebral metabolic rate for glucose was measured by the [fluorine 18]-fluorodeoxyglucose method, using positron emission tomography. With eyes covered, subjects listened to a tape that presented white noise, "beep" prompts, and questions about subjective effects of cocaine or saline. Cocaine produced euphoria and reduced glucose utilization globally (mean reduction, 14%). Twenty-six of 29 brain regions (all neocortical areas, basal ganglia, portions of the hippocampal formation, thalamus, and midbrain) showed significant decrements (5% to 26%) in the regional cerebral metabolic rate for glucose. No significant effects of cocaine were observed in the pons, the cerebellar cortex, or the vermis. Right-greater-than-left hemispheric asymmetry of regional cerebral metabolic rates for glucose occurred in the lateral thalamus. The findings demonstrate that reduced cerebral metabolism is associated with cocaine-induced euphoria.


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