Brain Aging Mechanisms Related To Stimulant Use Disorders

Project: Research

Project Details


Globally, an estimated 27 million people have been users of amphetamines and stimulants, and 20 million people were cocaine users in the year 2021. Stimulant-Related Disorders (SRD) consist of a pattern of cocaine (including crack) and amphetamine use that are associated with premature mortality and onset of premature age-related disorders. This project proposes that brain-derived exosomes (BDE) promote accelerated aging, and that the discovery of the neurobiological mechanisms associated with this process will lead to its early detection and intervention, which are crucial for the prevention of premature morbidity and mortality. Previous discoveries of epidemiological, clinical, and animal studies have shown that chronic use of stimulants can lead to an adverse impact on the trajectory and pathology of brain aging. However, little is known about the mechanisms of neurobiological processes by which stimulant drugs interact with vulnerability factors that lead to accelerated brain aging. This project will use biological samples from a large existing cohort of crack to investigate whether brain nanoparticles (exosomes) extracted from the blood of cocaine users can carry molecular mediators related to premature aging. Exosomal proteins and brain-derived microRNAs will be analyzed for markers of aging and neurodegeneration. These exosomes brain derivatives will be administered in the brains of mice to induce a possible aging process accelerated brain. These animals will be compared to mice that will be chronically treated with cocaine or amphetamine. Tau protein phosphorylation markers, neurofilament, amyloid precursor protein and amyloid beta in inhibitory and excitatory cells will be evaluated in the medial prefrontal cortex. This project aims to uncover new mechanisms associated with brain aging and use of stimulants.
Effective start/end date01/02/202331/01/2027


  • Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico: DKK99,519.00
  • Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico: DKK162,919.00


  • cocaine
  • brain-derived exosome
  • addiction
  • aging
  • brain


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