Tryptophan and substance abuse: mechanisms and impact

[thumbnail of ijms-24-02737.pdf]
ijms-24-02737.pdf - Published Version (2MB) | Preview
Available under license: Creative Commons Attribution

Davidson, Majid ORCID: 0000-0002-3241-6444, Rashidi, Niloufar, Hossain, Md Kamal, Raza, Ali, Nurgali, Kulmira ORCID: 0000-0002-2597-6929 and Apostolopoulos, Vasso ORCID: 0000-0001-6788-2771 (2023) Tryptophan and substance abuse: mechanisms and impact. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 24 (3). ISSN 1661-6596


Addiction, the continuous misuse of addictive material, causes long-term dysfunction in the neurological system. It substantially affects the control strength of reward, memory, and motivation. Addictive substances (alcohol, marijuana, caffeine, heroin, methamphetamine (METH), and nicotine) are highly active central nervous stimulants. Addiction leads to severe health issues, including cardiovascular diseases, serious infections, and pulmonary/dental diseases. Drug dependence may result in unfavorable cognitive impairments that can continue during abstinence and negatively influence recovery performance. Although addiction is a critical global health challenge with numerous consequences and complications, currently, there are no efficient options for treating drug addiction, particularly METH. Currently, novel treatment approaches such as psychological contingency management, cognitive behavioral therapy, and motivational enhancement strategies are of great interest. Herein, we evaluate the devastating impacts of different addictive substances/drugs on users′ mental health and the role of tryptophan in alleviating unfavorable side effects. The tryptophan metabolites in the mammalian brain and their potential to treat compulsive abuse of addictive substances are investigated by assessing the functional effects of addictive substances on tryptophan. Future perspectives on developing promising modalities to treat addiction and the role of tryptophan and its metabolites to alleviate drug dependency are discussed.

Dimensions Badge

Altmetric Badge

Item type Article
DOI 10.3390/ijms24032737
Official URL
Subjects Current > Division/Research > Australian Institute of Musculoskeletal Science (AIMSS)
Current > Division/Research > Institute for Health and Sport
Keywords addiction, addictive materials, mental health, physical effects of addiction, drug addiction treatment
Download/View statistics View download statistics for this item

Search Google Scholar

Repository staff login