Neuroimaging studies of brain corpus striatum changes among heroin-dependent patients treated with herbal medicine, U'finer ™ capsule

Authors

  • SW Jia,

    1. Department of Nuclear Medicine, Shenzhen Hospital, Peking University, Shenzhen, China
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  • W Wang,

    Corresponding author
    1. Graduate School, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
    2. School of the Public Health and Community Medicine, Capital University of Medical Sciences, Beijing, China
    3. Centre for Human Genetics, Edith Cowan University, Perth, Australia
      Professor Wei Wang, MD, PhD, Department of Biology, Graduate School of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, No. 19A Yue Quan Road, Beijing100039, China. Tel: + 86 10 8911 1971; Fax: + 86 10 8825 6373; E-mail: wei6014@gscas.ac.cn
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  • Y Liu,

    1. School of Pharmacy, Curtin University of Technology, Perth, Australia
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  • ZM Wu

    1. Shenzhen Civil Life Science and Technology Co. Ltd, Shenzhen, China
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Professor Wei Wang, MD, PhD, Department of Biology, Graduate School of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, No. 19A Yue Quan Road, Beijing100039, China. Tel: + 86 10 8911 1971; Fax: + 86 10 8825 6373; E-mail: wei6014@gscas.ac.cn

Abstract

Chronic exposure to heroin is associated with structural changes in dopaminergic (DA) neurones. The present study examined the effects of a new herbal medicine, U'finer TM capsule, on the brain corpus striatum and DA systems, comparing pre- and post- treatment in 36 heroin-dependent patients. Neuroimaging studies were performed by using single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) with 99m Tc-TRODAT-1 as radiotracer. The results show that U'finer TM significantly repaired the damaged bilateral corpus striatum, restoring it to a ‘panda eye? shape, analogous in size and shape to that of the healthy volunteers. DA transporter (DAT) function in the bilateral corpus striatum was restored to a normal state after recovery from neurotoxic insult. These findings suggest that U'finer TM is a reliable herbal medicine in the treatment of heroin dependency

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