(putting new spin on the term ‘THICK as a BRICK’!)
“Compared with unexposed children, those who were prenatally exposed to cannabis had a thicker prefrontal cortex, a region of the brain involved in complex cognition, decision-making, and working memory.
Author of the study Dr. Hanan El Marroun, of Erasmus University Medical Center in The Netherlands, said: "this study is important because cannabis use during pregnancy is relatively common and we know very little about the potential consequences of cannabis exposure during pregnancy and brain development later in life."
Written by Marie EllisPublished: Friday 15 April 2016
“Results showed that, compared with the control group, the marijuana users' striatum had lower dopamine release. There was also lower release in subregions that play a role in associative and sensorimotor learning, as well as in the globus pallidus.”
Thanos PK1, Kim R2, Delis F3, Ananth M4, Chachati G1, Rocco MJ1, Masad I5, Muniz JA5, Grant SC5, Gold MS6, Cadet JL7, Volkow ND8.
Methamphetamine (MA) addiction is a growing epidemic worldwide. Chronic MA use has been shown to lead to neurotoxicity in rodents and humans. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies in MA users have shown enlarged striatal volumes and positron emission tomography (PET) studies have shown decreased brain glucose metabolism (BGluM) in the striatum of detoxified MA users. The present study examines structural changes of the brain, observes microglial activation, and assesses changes in brain function, in response to chronic MA treatment. Rats were randomly split into three distinct treatment groups and treated daily for four months, via i.p. injection, with saline (controls), or low dose (LD) MA (4 mg/kg), or high dose (HD) MA (8 mg/kg). Sixteen weeks into the treatment period, rats were injected with a glucose analog, [18F] fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG), and their brains were scanned with micro-PET to assess regional BGluM. At the end of MA treatment, magnetic resonance imaging at 21T was performed on perfused rats to determine regional brain volume and in vitro [3H]PK 11195 autoradiography was performed on fresh-frozen brain tissue to measure microglia activation. When compared with controls, chronic HD MA-treated rats had enlarged striatal volumes and increases in [3H]PK 11195 binding in striatum, the nucleus accumbens, frontal cortical areas, the rhinal cortices, and the cerebellar nuclei. FDG microPET imaging showed that LD MA-treated rats had higher BGluM in insular and somatosensory cortices, face sensory nucleus of the thalamus, and brainstem reticular formation, while HD MA-treated rats had higher BGluM in primary and higher order somatosensory and the retrosplenial cortices, compared with controls. HD and LD MA-treated rats had lower BGluM in the tail of the striatum, rhinal cortex, and subiculum and HD MA also had lower BGluM in hippocampus than controls. These results corroborate clinical findings and help further examine the mechanisms behind MA-induced neurotoxicity.
Read More 2016 Jun 8;11(6):e0155457. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0155457. eCollection 2016.
What is fentanyl?
Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid analgesic that is similar to morphine but is 50 to 100 times more potent.1,2 It is a schedule II prescription drug,3 and it is typically used to treat patients with severe pain or to manage pain after surgery.4 It is also sometimes used to treat patients with chronic pain who are physically tolerant to other opioids.5 In its prescription form, fentanyl is known by such names as Actiq®, Duragesic®, and Sublimaze®.5,6 Street names for fentanyl or for fentanyl-laced heroin include Apache, China Girl, China White, Dance Fever, Friend, Goodfella, Jackpot, Murder 8, TNT, and Tango and Cash.
Why is fentanyl dangerous?
Opioid receptors are also found in the areas of the brain that control breathing rate. High doses of opioids, especially potent opioids such as fentanyl, can cause breathing to stop completely, which can lead to death.9 The high potency of fentanyl greatly increases risk of overdose, especially if a person who uses drugs is unaware that a powder or pill contains fentanyl.6,10 Fentanyl sold on the street can be mixed with heroin or cocaine, which markedly amplifies its potency and potential dangers.11
The medication naloxone is an opioid receptor antagonist that reverses opioid overdose and restores normal respiration.12Overdoses of fentanyl should be treated immediately with naloxone and may require higher doses to successfully reverse the overdose.10,13
For complete Fact Sheet
An excellent article by Ass. Professor Dr Anthea McCarthy-Jones (Canberra Times, Drug cartels a new danger, Times 2, p1, May 23). However, it dealt purposefully with law enforcement, with scant mention of the important role of health and social policy aspects of illicit drugs.
A larger demand for illegal drugs in Australia reflects not only increased affluence but an ineffective policy. Overall, anti-gun laws in America have been weakened in the past 30 years despite a simmering national resentment against a gun death toll of about thirty thousand annually. The National Rifle Association's support for Donald Trump will certainly exacerbate the problem.
Australia's story with drugs ( and many would say with guns) has been much the same. Drugs and drug use are shunned as a NIMBY, but if that's the case, they are virtually everywhere else.
Every kilogram of toxic drugs can be likened to an illegal firearm. Very few in this country want laws against guns eased, so why are drug elites pushing governments and politicians to do that with prohibiting laws on drugs, and their use ? Let's not go down the Donald Trump gun path with drugs.
Drug Advisory Council Australia
24/43 Blackall Street
Barton A.C.T. 2600