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Table of Contents
LETTER TO EDITOR
Year : 2018  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 187-188

Potential therapeutic effects of thymoquinone on treatment of amphetamine abuse


1 Faculty of Medicine, University of Sultan Zainal Abidin, Medical Campus, 20400 Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu Darul Iman; Centre for Research in Addiction, University of Sultan Zainal Abidin, Gong Badak Campus, 21300 Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu Darul Iman, Malaysia
2 Faculty of Medicine, University of Sultan Zainal Abidin, Medical Campus, 20400 Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu Darul Iman; Institute for Community Development & Quality of Life (iCODE), University of Sultan Zainal Abidin, Gong Badak Campus, 21300 Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu Darul Iman; Centre for Research in Addiction, University of Sultan Zainal Abidin, Gong Badak Campus, 21300 Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu Darul Iman, Malaysia
3 Faculty of Contemporary Islamic Studies, University of Sultan Zainal Abidin, Gong Badak Campus, 21300 Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu Darul Iman; Institute for Product Research and Civilization (INSPIRE), University of Sultan Zainal Abidin, Gong Badak Campus, 21300 Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu Darul Iman; Centre for Research in Addiction, University of Sultan Zainal Abidin, Gong Badak Campus, 21300 Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu Darul Iman, Malaysia
4 Faculty of Contemporary Islamic Studies, University of Sultan Zainal Abidin, Gong Badak Campus, 21300 Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu Darul Iman; Centre for Research in Addiction, University of Sultan Zainal Abidin, Gong Badak Campus, 21300 Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu Darul Iman, Malaysia

Date of Submission02-Nov-2017
Date of Decision04-Dec-2017
Date of Acceptance22-Dec-2017
Date of Web Publication21-Mar-2018

Correspondence Address:
Nor Hidayah Abu Bakar
Faculty of Medicine, University of Sultan Zainal Abidin, Medical Campus, 20400 Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu Darul Iman
Malaysia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/2221-1691.228001

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How to cite this article:
Md Fauzi NF, Bakar NH, Mohamad N, Mat KC, Omar SH, Othman MS, Husain R, Ismail MZ. Potential therapeutic effects of thymoquinone on treatment of amphetamine abuse. Asian Pac J Trop Biomed 2018;8:187-8

How to cite this URL:
Md Fauzi NF, Bakar NH, Mohamad N, Mat KC, Omar SH, Othman MS, Husain R, Ismail MZ. Potential therapeutic effects of thymoquinone on treatment of amphetamine abuse. Asian Pac J Trop Biomed [serial online] 2018 [cited 2019 Jan 23];8:187-8. Available from: http://www.apjtb.org/text.asp?2018/8/3/187/228001

Foundation project: This work is supported by UniSZA/NRGS/2013 (RR057-1) grant from Malaysia Ministry of Higher Education.




Dear Editor,

The prevalence of drug abuse has diverted from traditional drugs such as opioid and cannabis to modern, synthetic and psychoactive drugs such as amphetamine groups, the amphetamine (AT) and methamphetamine[1]. Amphetamine is used medically to treat several disorders such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, narcolepsy, depression and minor obesity[2]. However, AT has also gained its popularity as a recreational drug due to its psychostimulant effects. Parallel to that, illegal AT is increasingly manufactured by adding and mixing different drugs, binding agents and new psychoactive substances[3].

Amphetamine-like stimulants (predominantly AT and methamphetamine) are new trend among the youths and became the second most common forms of illicit substance abuse[4]. According to World Drug Report (2016), the global seizures of AT fluctuated annually between 20 and 46 tons since 2009. The number of amphetamines users was also showing an increasing trend from 33.9 million in 2015 to 35.7 million in 2016[5].

Amphetamine drug induces neurotoxicity through several mechanisms, with its predominant action on dopamine system causing dysfunction[6]. Overdose and uncontrollable consumption of AT will lead to addiction and unwanted psychological effects such as psychosis and anxiety[7],[8]. Since early 1980, several studies were conducted to observe the effects of AT on behaviour, biochemical changes and neurotoxicity in order to explore potential treatments for AT abusers. But still, there is no substitute drugs or specific treatment for AT abusers as compared to the methadone substitute for opioid abusers which is used to reduce withdrawal symptoms and addiction[9],[10],[11].

In this current era, many natural compounds are explored for their therapeutic effects in healing various diseases instead of chemical drugs[12]. These include thymoquinone (TQ), the bioactive compound found in Nigella sativa plant. It shows antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anticancer as well as neuroprotective properties[13],[14]. Previous studies highlighted TQ to have a great therapeutic potential in inhibiting the development of tramadol (an opioid drug) tolerance and dependence[15]. In another study, El- Shamy et al. (2013) reported that TQ has the potential to reduce monoamine neurotransmitter in the cortex and hippocampus of rats after treatment with nicotine[16]. A study also reported that Nigella sativa possesses the ability to modulate neurotransmitters release and reuptake such as dopamine, serotonin, gamma-aminobutyric acid, and acetylcholine and gives a positive effect on reduction of drug tolerance[17].

To date, a recent study from El-Naggar et al. reported that methanol extraction from Nigella sativa can modify amino acid neurotransmitter level in rat brain region which can be used for the treatment of neurodegenerative disease[18]. Other study also mentioned that TQ has a potential to upregulate gene expression involved in morphine addiction pathways[19].

As a conclusion, we proposed that TQ might be a good candidate for the treatment of AT abuse through its interaction with dopamine neurotransmitter. Thus, further molecular studies are worth to be explored to prove its therapeutic effects in the treatment of AT abuse.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declared that no conflict of interests based on this study.

Acknowledgements

This project is supported by UniSZA/NRGS/2013 (RR057-1) grant from Malaysia Ministry of Higher Education.



 
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Ahmad A, Husain A, Mujeeb M, Khan SA, Najmi AK, Siddique NA, et al. A review on therapeutic potential of Nigella sativa: A miracle herb. Asian Pac J Trop Biomed 2013; 3(5): 337-352.  Back to cited text no. 13
    
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Beheshti F, Khazaei M, Hosseini M. Neuropharmacological effects of Nigella sativa. Avicenna J Phytomed 2016; 6(1): 104-116.  Back to cited text no. 14
    
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Abdel-Zaher AO, Abdel-Rahman MS, Elwasei FM. Protective effect of Nigella sativa oil against tramadol-induced tolerance and dependence in mice: Role of nitric oxide and oxidative stress. Neurotoxicology 2011; 32: 725-733.  Back to cited text no. 15
    
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El-Shamy AK, Khadrawy AY, El-Feki AM, Refaat HI, Sawie GH. The Effect of both vitamin E and thymoquinone on monoamine neurotransmitter changes induced by nicotine treatment and withdrawal in the cortex and hippocampus of rat brain. J Appl Sci Res 2013; 9(6): 4030-4040.  Back to cited text no. 16
    
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Jukic M, Politeo O, Maksimovic M, Milos M. In vitro acetylcholinesterase inhibitory properties of thymol, carvacrol and their derivatives thymoquinone and thymohydroquinone. Phytother Res 2007; 21: 259-261.  Back to cited text no. 17
    
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El-Naggar T, Carretero ME, Arce C, Gómez-Serranillos MP. Methanol extract of Nigella sativa seed induces changes in the levels of neurotransmitter amino acids in male rat brain regions. Pharm Biol 2017; 55(1): 1415-1422.  Back to cited text no. 18
    
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Adnan LHM, Mohamad N, Mat KC, Yeo CC, Bakar NHA, Ismail R. Thymoquinone regulates gene expression levels in morphine addiction pathways in opioid receptor expressing cells (U87 MG). Electron J Biol 2017; 13(2): 166-173.  Back to cited text no. 19
    




 

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