We all know that too much of any “harmless” substance can be toxic and even lethal: salt, sugar, iron, alcohol… the list goes on.
But lest free-wheeling meth addicts start feeling smug, here’s a big caveat:
“Methamphetamine is a drug that has been shown to exacerbate stroke damage or make it worse when administered before a stroke,” Dave Poulsen, a UM research assistant professor, said in a news release. “But we have seen roughly 80 to 90 percent protection of neurons when administered after a stroke.” [….] The researchers found that small amounts of meth created a protective effect, while higher doses increased damage.
It’s all about finding the right dosage. Too low a dose, it does nothing. Too high a dose, and it does damage. It’s finding the happy medium — that’s where the science of biochemistry comes in. And if this finding ever goes to the human trials, it would be an interesting contribution, I think, in the on-going debate on what makes a drug legal or illegal. Perhaps it’s not so much of what it is, but what the right dosage is.