The effects of D-amphetamine on outcome after blunt craniocerebral trauma are characterized and the potential legal implica-tions discussed. Traumatic brain injury (TBI) was induced under general anesthesia in adult, male Sprague Dawley rats using the impact accel-eration model. At 10 min prior to injury, D-amphetamine (5 mg/kg) or saline vehicle was administered subcutaneously; animals weresubsequently assessed over a 7-day period post-trauma for motor outcome using a rotarod device. D-amphetamine treated animals performedsignificantly better (p < 0.001; ANOVA) than vehicle treated controls on their motor assessment, suggesting that D-amphetamine exposureprior to injury either is neuroprotective or enhances motor performance. It is possible, therefore, that an individual who has taken amphetaminesmay function at a better motor level after head trauma than one who has not been exposed to the drug. Future interpretations of the potentialeffects of amphetamines on TBI should include this possibility.
Journal of Forensic Sciences / Vol. Article in press