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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Methamphetamine Causes Death by Fungus

Methamphetamine has long been considered the worst drug due to the damage that it does to the human body on a number of different levels. The drug can be used in numerous ways, but the most common is to inhale the drug through a glass bubble when heat is applied. Using the drug can affect one's respiratory system which can increase the risk of dying from a fungal lung infection, a new study in mice suggests.

The fungus is known as Cryptococcus neoformans, in most cases the fungus is harmless, but that is assuming that the body is healthy, HealthDay reports. In unhealthy people, using Methamphetamine, gaps can form in the blood-brain barrier, giving access to the fungus, moving from the lungs to the brain. When this happens a deadly, deadly infection ensues.

Working with mice, researchers found that when they injected meth into mice infected with the fungus it dramatically increased the amount of the fungus in the lungs. This action caused the disease to progress rapidly and they died sooner, compared with mice infected with the fungus but were not given methamphetamine.

In just nine days after being infected with the fungus, all of the mice injected with meth had died.  

 The study is published in the journal mBio.
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