Amphetamine

In laboratory animals, chronic administration of AMPHETAMINE prior to training impairs performance in many types of learning tasks. Such effects are typically obtained in experiments using high doses of amphetamine and complex learning tasks. In contrast, extensive evidence, from studies using a variety of types of training tasks, indicates that acute posttraining injections of amphetamine produce dose-dependent enhancement of memory. Retention is also enhanced by direct administration of amphetamine into several brain regions, including the amygdaloid complex, hippocampus, and caudate nucleus. Amphetamine is known to act by releasing the catecholamines epinephrine, norepinephrine, and dopamine from cells and block their reuptake. Amphetamine effects on memory appear to result primarily from influences on brain dopa-minergic systems as well as influences on the release of peripheral catecholamines.

Amphetamine users often report that their ''learning capacity'' is enhanced by single doses of the substance. Since there are few systematic and well-controlled studies of the effects of amphetamine on memory in humans, however, it is not known whether such reports reflect subjective changes in perception and mood or effects on memory. Chronic amphetamine use is usually accompanied by a deterioration of memory function, an effect that subsides with cessation of use.

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