To investigate the psychophysiological features of methamphetamine (MAP) dependence, we recorded auditory event-related potentials (ERPs) in 15 patients with MAP dependence and in 15 age-matched normal controls. ERPs were recorded during a standard oddball task and a read task similar to those employed by Squires et al. (Squires NK, Squires KC, Hillyard SA  Two varieties of long-latency positive waves evoked by unpredictable auditory stimuli in man. Electroenceph Clin Neurophysiol 38:387-401)
. The patients with MAP dependence showed reduced P3a amplitude and area in the read task and delayed P3b latency with normal P3b amplitude and area in the oddball task. These results suggest that central noradrenergic dysregulation may persist after the remission of acute psychotic symptoms in MAP psychosis and that chronic MAP dependence would produce impairment of the frontal cortex.
1Department of Psychiatry, Showa University School of Medicine, 1-5-8 Hatanodai, Shinagawaku, Tokyo 142, Japan. Send reprint requests to Dr. Iwanami.
2Tokyo Metropolitan Matsuzawa Hospital, 2-1-1 Kamikitazawa, Setagayaku, Tokyo 169, Japan.