Advertisement

Exogenous Drugs and Brain Damage

  • Woody Caan

Abstract

The earliest known agricultural society cultivated Vicia (the ‘tares’ of the Bible), presumably in awareness of its psychoactive potential and in spite of the excitotoxic risks of fits or neurolathyrism. Throughout recorded history, harmful effects of ethanol on memory, orientation, co-ordination and reasoning have been apparent, long before a concept of dependence emerged. At present, in the USA, ‘alcohol-related neurological disorders’ constitute a particularly large subset of medical problems with alcohol, including a puzzling ‘great variety of these disorders, which may involve virtually any level of the nervous system’.1 A similarly great variety of damage is seen after use of other psychoactive drugs. The possibility arises that a drug like alcohol could contribute to neuropathology in five ways:
  1. 1.

    direct damage to neurones from any single dose;

     
  2. 2.

    non-specific damage associated with use (e.g. head injuries or malnutrition);

     
  3. 3.

    altered metabolism following short binges of heavy use;

     
  4. 4.

    cumulative irreversible changes associated with chronic use;

     
  5. 5.

    impaired foetal development after maternal use.

     

Keywords

Chronic Alcohol Brain Damage Addictive Behaviour Inverse Agonist KYNURENIC Acid 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Notes

  1. 1.
    J. Cassidy, Drugs and Alcohol: Proceedings of the Conference on ‘The Human Mind’ (Vatican City: The Vatican, 1991), pp. 63–265.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    ‘Divorce, Alcohol Abuse Linked to Rise in Male Suicides’, Alcohol Alert, June 1993, p. 13.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    C. Hall, ‘Teenagers Taking Risks with Health at an Earlier Age’, The Independent, 22 September 1992.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    T. Y. Black, ‘An Informed Introduction to 3,4 Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, “Ecstasy”, “E”)’, unpublished, Department of Psychology, University of Hull, 1995.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    L. Hermle, ‘Zur bedeutung der historischen and aktuellen halluzinogenforschung in der psychiatrie’, Nervenarzt, 64 (1993): 562–71.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    J. W. Olney, ‘Pathological Changes Induced in Cerebrocortical Neurons by Phenyclidine and Related Drugs’, Science, 244 (1989): 1360–2.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    A. Furnham, ‘Mind Blowing or just another Swipe?’, British Medical Journal, 306 (1993): 660.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    W. A. Caan, ‘Deeply Designer Drugs’, European Journal of Neuroscience, 1992 Supplement, no. 4, p. 322.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    G. Lucas, ‘Problem Drinking in the Workplace’, London Alcoholism no. 4, pp. 1–4 (newsletter of the Medical Council on Alcoholism).Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    N. L. Benowitz, ‘How Toxic is Cocaine? Cocaine as a Biological and Medical Problem’, CIBA Foundation Symposuim, London (1991).Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    W. A. Caan and J. Fenton, ‘Self-catering during Rehabilitation’, British Journal of Psychiatry, 157 (1990):780–1.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    A. Hopkins, Clinical Neurology: A Modern Approach (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993).Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    H. Ghodse, Drugs and Addictive Behaviour: A Guide to Treatment (Oxford: Blackwell, 1989).Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    W. A. Caan, ‘Chronic Alcohol Administration Leads to a Persistent Increase in Aggression in Rats after Withdrawal, in a New Behavioural Test’, Neuroscience Letters, Supplement: 32 (1988) S32, S41.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    W. A. Caan, ‘Chronic Alcohol can Produce, in Rats, Persistent Disturbance of Certain Behaviours and CNS Neurones, after Withdrawal’, British Journal of Addiction, 84 (1989): 1392.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    R. Armstrong, ‘The Benzodiazepine Receptor Antagonist Flumazenil has Longlasting Effects on Alcoholic Rats’, British Journal of Pharmacology, 95 (1989): 881.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    W. A. Caan, ‘Crack — The Broken Promise’, Postgraduate Medical Journal, 68 (1992): 396.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    R. Crisp, ‘Personal Responses to Traumatic Brain Injury: A Qualitative Study’, Disability, Handicap & Society, 8 (1993): 393–404.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    S. C. Bowden and W. A. Caan, ‘Learning in Young Alcoholics: Chronic Alcohol Administration Leads to a Persistent Increase in Aggression in Rats, after Withdrawal, in a New Behavioural Test’, Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, 1988: 10 (2) S32, S41, 157–168.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    J. A. O. Besson, ‘Magnetic Resonance Imaging and its Applications in Neuropsychiatry’, British Journal of Psychiatry, 157 (1990): 25–37.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    P. A. Saunders, ‘Heavy Drinking as a Risk Factor for Depression and Dementia in Elderly Men’, British Journal of Psychiatry, 159 (1991): 213–216.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    W. A. Caan, ‘Crack — the Broken Promise’, Postgraduate Medical Journal, 68 (1992): 396.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    M. A. Ron, ‘The Brain of Alcoholics: An Overview’, inNeuropsychology of Alcoholism: Implications for Diagnosis and Treatment (New York: Guilford, 1987) pp. 11–20.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    R. E. Tarter, ‘Neurobehavioral Disorders Associated with Chronic Alcohol Abuse’, in A. M. Arria (ed.), Alcoholism: Biomedical and Genetic Aspects (New York: Pergamon, 1989), pp 113–29.Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    D. C. Mathers, ‘Cannabis Use in a Large Sample of Acute Psychiatric Admissions’, British Journal of Addiction, 86 (1991): 779–84.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    S. Andreasson, ‘Cannabis and Schizophrenia’, Lancet ii (1987):1483–6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    H. A. Baldwin, ‘Reversal of Increased Anxiety during Benzodiazepine Withdrawal: Evidence for an Anxiogenic Endogenous Ligand for the Benzodiazepine Receptor’, Brain Research Bulletin, 20: (1989): 603–6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    A. R. Mayes, ‘Locations of Lesions in Korsakoff’s Syndrome: Neuropsychological and Neuropathological Data on Two Patients’, Cortex, 24 (1988): 367–88.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    R. E. O’Carroll, ‘Korsakoff’s Syndrome, Cognition and Clonidine’, Psychological Medicine, 23 (1993): 341–7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    E. T. Rolls, ‘Neuronal Responses Related to Visual Recognition’, Brain 105 (1982): 611–46.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    K. Fox, ‘The Role of the Anterior Intralaminar Nuclei and N-Methyl D-Aspartate Receptors in the Generation of Spontaneous Bursts in Rat Neocortical Neurones’, Experimental Brain Research, 63 (1986): 505–18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    M. E. Diamond, ‘Experience-dependent Plasticity in Adult Rat Barrel Cortex’, Proceedings of the National Academy of Science USA, 90 (1993): 2082–6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    J. Strang, ‘Cocaine in the UK—1991’, British Journal of Psychiatry, 162 (1993): 1–13.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    P. Lemoine, ‘An Historical Note about the Foetal-Alcohol Syndrome’, Addiction, 89 (1994): 1021–3.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    U. Rydberg, ‘Addiction Research in Europe’, European Addiction Research, (1995): 26–31.Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    C. R. Goodlett, ‘A Single Day of Alcohol Exposure during the Brain Growth Spurt Induces Brain Weight Restriction and Cerebellar Purkinje Cell Loss’, Alcohol, 7 (1990): 107–14.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    E. M. Jellinek, Alcohol Addiction and Chronic Alcoholism (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1942).Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    M. Rattray, ‘Neurochemical Aspects of Drug Abuse’, The Biochemist, 14 (1992): 2.Google Scholar
  39. 39.
    W. A. Caan and M. Crowe, ‘Using Readmission Rates as Indicators of Outcomes in Comparing Psychiatric Services’, Journal of Mental Health, 3 (1994): 521–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    W, A. Caan, ‘An Addict who Threatens the GP for a Prescription’, Prescriber, 5 (1994): 63–8.Google Scholar
  41. 41.
    World Health Organization, 1990.Google Scholar
  42. 42.
    G. Christo and S. Sutton, ‘Anxiety and Self-Esteem as a Function of Abstinance Time among Recovering Addicts Attending Narcotics Anonymous’, British Journal of Clinical Psychology, 33 (1994): 198–200.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. 43.
    S. J. Ellis, ‘Functional Magnetic Resonance: Neurological Enlightenment?’, Lancet, 342 (1993): 882.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. 44.
    K. Blum, ‘Neurogenetic Deficits Caused by Alcoholism: Restoration by SAAVE, a Neuronutrient Intervention Adjunct’, Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, 20 (1992): 297–313.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. 45.
    H. J. Little, ‘Neuronal Calcium Channels and Ethanol Dependence’, European Journal of Neuroscience, Supplement 4 (1991): 323.Google Scholar
  46. 46.
    H. D. Kleber, ‘Pharmacotherapy for Cocaine Addicts: Abstract in Cocaine as a Biological and Medical Problem’, CIBA Foundation Symposium (1991).Google Scholar
  47. 47.
    J. Hughes, ‘Brain Peptides May Hold Key to Severe Psychiatric Disease’, Viewpoint Depression Management (1991) p. 2.Google Scholar
  48. 48.
    L. L. Iversen, ‘The Neurobiology of Ageing’, Conquest, 178 (1989): 1–14.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Adrian Bonner and James Waterhouse 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Woody Caan

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations