Home Health Researchers from Adelaide for the first time in the world discovered a...

Researchers from Adelaide for the first time in the world discovered a connection between the use of the method and Parkinson’s disease


Adelaide researchers have made the world’s first link between methamphetamine and Parkinson’s disease as the state government begins to highlight the health effects of pizza boxes.

University of South Australia Associate Professor Gabrielle Todd said her research was the first to “demonstrate a human-to-human connection” after it was discovered in animals decades ago.

She said methamphetamine use “as many as five times” can have “long-lasting effects on areas of the brain that control movement.”

Associate Professor Gabrielle Todd researched the long-term effects of methamphetamine use.(Supplied by: UniSA)

“Methamphetamine is a drug that damages certain neurons in the brain, and those neurons are the same set of neurons that are damaged in Parkinson’s disease,” she said.

“Methamphetamine is actually so good at damaging these neurons that scientists have used the drug as an animal model for Parkinson’s disease.

“There is a very clear scientific link between the drug’s effects on these neurons, and there is a lot of other clinical and epidemiological evidence to support that link.”

Methamphetamine use also affects heart and kidney health and increases the risk of stroke, she said.

Health Minister Chris Picton said it was worrying that many meth users were unaware of the long-term effects of the drug on their health.

“Surveys show that 47 percent of people don’t know that eating ice has long-term health effects,” he said.

“Ice and meth use is a huge problem in the state, and we know the impact it has on communities and families.”

The hand tries to pick up the phone but can't because there are strings attached to it
State Government to launch new ‘Don’t let meth take hold’ campaign.(Supplied by: SA Government )

On Monday, the state government will launch a new campaign — “Don’t let meth take hold” — in light of evidence linking the drug to Parkinson’s disease.

For the first time in Australia, 20,000 ads warning of the long-term effects of the drug will be printed on pizza boxes, alongside traditional media ads.

“The best thing we can do is stop people using meth in the first place, and this ad campaign is a big part of that,” Mr Picton said.

A hospital research group will invest $100,000 in an advertising campaign as it works to diagnose more Parkinson’s patients.

Executive director Olivia Nassaris said there could be an increase in drug-related diagnoses of Parkinson’s disease.


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