Effects of chronic cocaine abuse on postsynaptic dopamine receptors

Nora D. Volkow, Joanna S. Fowler, Alfred P. Wolf, David Schlyer, Chyng Yann Shiue, Robert Alpert, Stephen L. Dewey, Jean Logan, Bernard Bendriem, David Christman, Robert Hitzemann, Fritz Henn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


To assess the effects of chronic cocaine intoxication on dopamine receptors in human subjects, the authors evaluated [18F]N-methylspiroperidol binding using positron emission tomography in 10 cocaine abusers and 10 normal control subjects. Cocaine abusers who had been detoxified for 1 week or less showed significantly lower values for uptake of [18F]N-methylspiroperidol in striatum than the normal subjects, whereas the cocaine abusers who had been detoxified for 1 month showed values comparable to those obtained from normal subjects. The authors conclude that postsynaptic dopamine receptor availability decreases with chronic cocaine abuse but may recover after a drug-free interval.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)97-104
Number of pages8
JournalAnnual Review of Addictions Research and Treatment
Issue numberC
StatePublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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