Working out the mechanisms for meow meow

A researcher has discovered how the increasingly common street drug mephedrone affects the brain, helping to explain why it is potentially such an addictive substance.

The party drug also known by the street name “meow meow”, mephedrone works like a combination of methamphetamine (crystal meth or ice) and MDMA (commonly known as ecstasy), said the researcher who used an advanced technique to trace the effect of mephedrone on brain neurons.

“The findings confirm the anecdotal reports from mephedrone users that the drug combines the euphoric, sociable effects of ecstasy with an addictive hook comparable to drugs such as cocaine or methamphetamine,” the researcher said.

The research, which has been published online in the journal Addiction Biology ahead of print publication, uses a technique called c-Fos, which tracks proteins in the brain that indicate which neurons were activated by mephedrone consumption.

Read more at University of Sydney