Brain Damages in Ketamine Addicts as Revealed by Magnetic Resonance Imaging.

Brain damages in ketamine addicts as revealed by magnetic resonance imaging.

Front Neuroanat. 2013; 7: 23
Wang C, Zheng D, Xu J, Lam W, Yew DT

Ketamine, a known antagonist of N-methyl-D-aspartic (NMDA) glutamate receptors, had been used as an anesthetic particularly for pediatric or for cardiac patients. Unfortunately, ketamine has become an abusive drug in many parts of the world while chronic and prolonged usage led to damages of many organs including the brain. However, no studies on possible damages in the brains induced by chronic ketamine abuse have been documented in the human via neuroimaging. This paper described for the first time via employing magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) the changes in ketamine addicts of 0.5-12 years and illustrated the possible brain regions susceptible to ketamine abuse. Twenty-one ketamine addicts were recruited and the results showed that the lesions in the brains of ketamine addicts were located in many regions which appeared 2-4 years after ketamine addiction. Cortical atrophy was usually evident in the frontal, parietal or occipital cortices of addicts. Such study confirmed that many brain regions in the human were susceptible to chronic ketamine injury and presented a diffuse effect of ketamine on the brain which might differ from other central nervous system (CNS) drugs, such as cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine. HubMed – addiction

Bidirectional modulation of infralimbic dopamine D1 and D2 receptor activity regulates flexible reward seeking.

Front Neurosci. 2013; 7: 126
Barker JM, Torregrossa MM, Taylor JR

The development of addictive behavior is marked by a loss of behavioral flexibility. In part, this is due to an increase in the ability of environmental stimuli to elicit responding and decreased importance of the action-outcome relationship in behavioral control. It has previously been demonstrated that both inactivation of and dopamine (DA) infusions in the infralimbic prefrontal cortex (PFC) can restore behavioral flexibility in paradigms measuring habitual reward seeking. Here, we investigated the mechanism by which cortical DA would act to enable goal-directed actions after the transition to habitual behavior has been established. Further, we extended this work to include a novel mouse model of compulsive-like behavior in which we assessed reward seeking despite the possibility of adverse consequences. Our data show that DA receptor D1 inhibition or D2 activation both promote the expression of a flexible responding after the development of habitual or compulsive-like behavior, and we suggest that the ability of DA infusions in the infralimbic PFC to restore sensitivity to changes in outcome value depends on activation of DA D2 receptors. HubMed – addiction

Consumption of new psychoactive substances in a Spanish sample of research chemical users.

Hum Psychopharmacol. 2013 Jul; 28(4): 332-40
González D, Ventura M, Caudevilla F, Torrens M, Farre M

To know the pattern of use of new psychoactive substances (NPSs) in a Spanish sample of research chemical (RC) users and to deepen the RC user profile and risk reduction strategies employed.This study is a cross-sectional survey by means of a specific questionnaire. Recruitment was carried out at music festivals, at non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and through announcements on an online forum. Two RC user profiles were defined, according to whether they search information through online forums.A total of 230 users participated. The most frequent RCs were hallucinogenic phenethylamines (2C-B 80.0%, 2C-I 39.6%) and cathinones (methylone 40.1%, mephedrone 35.2%). The most frequent combination of RC with other illegal drugs was with cannabis (68.6%) and 2C-B with MDMA (28.3%). Subjects who are consulting drug forums (group 1) use more RC, obtain RC by Internet, and use more frequently risk prevention strategies. Regarding the risk-reduction strategies in this group, users sought information concerning RC before consuming them (100%), used precision scales to calculate dosage (72.3%), and analyzed the contents before consumption (68.8%).There is a specific RC user profile with extensive knowledge and consumption of substances, using different strategies to reduce risks associated to its consumption. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. HubMed – addiction

Novel psychoactive substances as a novel challenge for health professionals: results from an Italian survey.

Hum Psychopharmacol. 2013 Jul; 28(4): 324-31
Simonato P, Corazza O, Santonastaso P, Corkery J, Deluca P, Davey Z, Blaszko U, Schifano F

Novel psychoactive substances (NPS; a.k.a. ‘legal highs’ or ‘smart drugs’) are advertised online as ‘safe’ and ‘legal’ natural/synthetic analogues of controlled illicit drugs. However, only little research has been carried out in identifying the health professionals’ knowledge and expertise relating to the intake of these compounds.Data presented here refer to the Italian component of the European Union-wide, European Commission-funded, ReDNet project survey. An ad-hoc questionnaire was administered to professionals from the departments of Addiction, Psychiatry, Paediatrics and Emergency Room Services in Italy.The interviewees’ sample included 243 professionals, mostly from the departments of Addiction (35%) and Psychiatry (28.4%). Overall, interviewees self-reported a poor technical knowledge relating to NPS; some 27% of respondents confirmed of not being aware if their patients presented with a previous history of NPS misuse.Novel psychoactive substances prevalence of misuse was not considered to be an unusual phenomenon in Italy, and most health professionals appeared to have concerns relating to associated medical and psychopathological risks, especially in terms of aggression/psychomotor agitation. Overall, most respondents reported the need to have better access to NPS-related reliable sources of information. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. HubMed – addiction

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