Basic Science/Neurophysiology/Imaging Projects

Assessment of Stress Effects in Methamphetamine Dependence

Thomas Newton, M.D., Principal Investigator
(tnewton@ucla.edu);
Richard De La Garza, II, Ph.D.,
Co-Investigator and Project Director

The purpose of this project is to determine the effects of a psychological stressor (as opposed to a physical stressor) on neuroimmune function (how the brain’s immune system reacts to methamphetamine and stress), physiological measures (e.g., blood pressure and heart rate), and craving in methamphetamine-dependent volunteers. Participants will stay in an inpatient research nursing unit at UCLA for 17 days. The psychological stressor will consist of a stress imagery task, and the placebo control will be a control imagery task. Participants will receive placebo or methamphetamine on study days 3 and 4 as a safety screen. Participants will then complete 4 sessions on separate days: each session will consist of a stress procedure (active or mock) and an infusion (active or placebo). Participants will receive 2 mock stress sessions and 2 active sessions, and they will receive placebo on 2 days and 30mg methamphetamine on 2 days; they will not know when they are receiving which injection. Measures will include mood and drug effect questionnaires, behavioral tasks, and blood samples. Participants will be closely monitored for changes in heart rate and blood pressure.

Assessment of Stress Effects in Methamphetamine Dependence was funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Grant 1 K24 DA17754 (September 2005 through August 2010).

Last Updated: 02/01/2007

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