Scientists Confirm That Long Term Kratom Use Causes Zero Changes In Brain Structure, Via Comparing The MRIs Of Kratom Users And Non-Kratom Users, Unlike Synthetic Opioids And Opiates Which Do Cause Brain Damage
A scientific study titled ‘Brain Magnetic Resonance Imaging of Regular Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa Korth.) Users: A Preliminary Study‘ set out to determine whether long term Kratom use causes abnormalities/changes in brain structure, and ultimately found that Kratom causes zero changes to the brain, i.e. Kratom causes zero brain damage.
This was a critical study, since some studies on rats found that Kratom caused various types of brain damage. However, in those rat studies doses hundreds of times what humans would use were administered, and this study cleared the air by analyzing the brains of actual human Kratom users.
Further, synthetic opioids and opiates do cause brain damage, including altered structural and functional connectivity, and changes in the amygdala, nucleus accumbens, and hippocampus. Therefore, it was important to find out whether Kratom causes changes/damage to the brain like synthetic opioids and opiates.
In order to answer these questions, 7 long term Kratom users and 7 non-kratom users were put through Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRIs).
It was found that there were zero brain structural differences between long term Kratom users and non-kratom users, and this study thoroughly confirmed this for every region of the brain. This makes Kratom quite unique compared to synthetic opioids, opiates, cocaine, and methamphetamine which are proven to cause changes in brain structure with long term use.
Ultimately, the scientists conclude “Given its limited number of harmful effects when used as a single agent, kratom and its alkaloids hold therapeutic potential as a novel medication for pain management and addiction management, since mitragynine is shown to have little abuse potential and can be used to reduce opioid intake.”
On a final note, the scientists also conclude that any reports of adverse brain-related activity associated with Kratom, such as seizures, are likely due to polydrug abuse involving Kratom, and based on the results in this study, Kratom alone cannot cause any brain-related issues, changes, or damage.
Thus, this study further confirms that Kratom is truly in a class of its own when compared to other psychoactive compounds, since although synthetic opioids, opiates, methamphetamine, and cocaine cause changes/damage in the brain, Kratom causes zero changes/damage.