An academic from Mahidol University has revealed the result of her research. It was found that drug addicts have a chance to get Alzheimerís disease or Parkinsonís disease because the brain will be destroyed by the effect of amphetamine. In addition, children who are computer game addicts might lose their learning and memory abilities. She suggested using brain chemicals science and bio-social psychology to treat them.
Professor Dr. Piyarat Govitrapong, head of Center for Neuroscience, Institute of Molecular Biosciences, Mahidol University, said that the study of chemical effects by taking amphetamine has been found that amphetamine destroys nerve system and brain cells that cause learning and memory abilities lost, and abnormality of brain cells development which is similar to a brain of Parkinsonís disease patient. Since the nerve system called dopamine is destroyed, the body is rigid and difficult to move, and unable to walk. The drug addict who has just started taking amphetamine, he will feel comfortable because dopamine is released. However, after he took too much amphetamine, dopamine will transform into free radical that destroys brain cells like a symptom in Parkinsonís patient. So, we can predict that there will be a great deal of Parkinsonís disease patients in Thailand in the future. At the moment, Mahidol University is still in the process of further studying on the original cells or the origin of stem cells by culturing stem cells for recreating cells in the part of the brain that has been destroyed or lost by taking amphetamine. Moreover, according to a group study, Professor Dr. Piyarat
found that amphetamine also destroys stem cells of the part of the brain that relates to learning and memory, so the addiction might destroy learning as well. In the future, there might be a new kind of drug that can treat patients who have Alzheimerís disease causing by taking amphetamine.
There are other types of addiction like online game, facebook, and social network addictions. Facebook members in Thailand have increased to two millions (2nd in Asia).
Computer game addiction might affect the brain too. The treatment needs brain chemicals science with psychology and social science, in order to solve addiction problems.
Dr. Prapapan Chucharoen, chairperson of Master of Arts program committee, addictionology, Asean Institute for Health Development, Mahidol University, said that the way for helping drug addicts is an integrated treatment of
bio-mind-society. In order to solve young addicts and drug problem permanently, we have to use every aspects: biology, nerve system, and behavior.
Mahidol University has a program for teaching in addictionology which is the only one in ASEAN, and there are not many institutes in the world that have programs like this. There are studies and researches on addictionology
for solving the problems and rehabilitating both physical and mental of drug addicts. Mahidol University has brought the knowledge to the communities and used in real practice, for example, a case study of Hmong tribe in Petchaboon. The program has been studied and used in real practice. Each drug addicts has been cured, and drug problem in the tribe has been solved efficiently.
Date : May 9, 2011