Navigation Links
Brookhaven scientists explore brain's reaction to potent hallucinogen
Date:4/28/2008

UPTON, NY - Brain-imaging studies performed in animals at the U.S. Department of Energys (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory provide researchers with clues about why an increasingly popular recreational drug that causes hallucinations and motor-function impairment in humans is abused. Using trace amounts of Salvia divinorum also known as salvia, a Mexican mint plant that can be smoked in the form of dried leaves or serum Brookhaven scientists found that the drugs behavior in the brains of primates mimics the extremely fast and brief high observed in humans. Their results are now published online in the journal NeuroImage.

Quickly gaining popularity among teenagers and young adults, salvia is legal in most states, but is grabbing the attention of municipal lawmakers. Numerous states have placed controls on salvia or salvinorin A the plants active component and others, including New York, are considering restrictions.

This is probably one of the most potent hallucinogens known, said Brookhaven chemist Jacob Hooker, the lead author of the study, which is the first to look at how the drug travels through the brain. Its really important that we study drugs like salvia and how they affect the brain in order to understand why they are abused and to investigate their medicinal relevance, both of which can inform policy makers.

Hooker and fellow researchers used positron emission tomography, or PET scanning, to watch the distribution of salvinorin A in the brains of anesthetized primates. In this technique, the scientists administer a radioactively labeled form of salvinorin A (at concentrations far below pharmacologically active doses) and use the PET scanner to track its site-specific concentrations in various brain regions.

Within 40 seconds of administration, the researchers found a peak concentration of salvinorin A in the brain nearly 10 times faster than the rate at which cocaine enters the brain. About 16 minutes later, the drug was essentially gone. This pattern parallels the effects described by human users, who experience an almost immediate high that starts fading away within 5 to 10 minutes.

High concentrations of the drug were localized to the cerebellum and visual cortex, which are parts of the brain responsible for motor function and vision, respectively. Based on their results and published data from human use, the scientists estimate that just 10 micrograms of salvia in the brain is needed to cause psychoactive effects in humans.

Salvia doesnt cause the typical euphoric state associated with other hallucinogens like LSD, Hooker said. The drug targets a receptor that is known to modulate pain and could be important for therapies as far reaching as mood disorders.

Most people dont find this class of drugs very pleasurable, Hooker said. So perhaps the main draw or reason for its appeal relates to the rapid onset and short duration of its effects, which are incredibly unique. The kinetics are often as important as the abused drug itself.

The Brookhaven team plans to conduct further studies related to salvias abuse potential. The scientists also hope to develop radioactive tracers that can better probe the brain receptors to which salvia binds. Such studies could possibly lead to therapies for chronic pain and mood disorders.


'/>"/>

Contact: Kendra Snyder
ksnyder@bnl.gov
631-344-8191
DOE/Brookhaven National Laboratory
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Scientists Discover How Stomach Tumors Form
2. U.S. Scientists Receive Japan Prize on April 23, 2008
3. Scientists discover a mechanism that can send cells on the road to cancer
4. Scientists identify novel way to prevent cardiac fibrosis
5. Scientists Explore Human Gene Pool With Help From Microsoft Research
6. Scientists obtain anticancer medicines from the elecampe, a wild plant growing in the Mediterranean
7. Jefferson scientists discovery may help explain smoking-pancreatic cancer link
8. With annual deaths from malaria on the rise: Scientists ask where is all the money going?
9. Stem cells and cancer: Scientists investigate a fine balancing act
10. Scientists Block Prostate Cancer Cells Spread
11. Scientists solve mystery of polyketide drug formation
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... of Topricin and MyPainAway Pain Relief Products, join The ‘Business for a Fair Minimum Wage’ ... 2020 and then adjusting it yearly to increase at the same rate as the median ... floor does not erode again, and make future increases more predictable. , The company is ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... at the Clinical Decision Making in Emergency Medicine conference in Ponte Vedra Beach, ... journal articles published in Emergency Medicine Practice and Pediatric Emergency Medicine ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Puradigm® & Innovative Solutions ... initiated cultivation and processing operations at its production facility, and opened its first ... is the manufacturer of a complete system of proactive air and surface purification ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... , ... National recruitment firm Slone Partners is pleased to announce ... experience, as Vice President of North American Capital Sales at HTG Molecular . ... sales team in the commercialization of the HTG EdgeSeq system and associated reagents in ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Today, MTI-GlobalStem, a provider ... and other difficult to transfect cells, announces its launch of the PluriQ™ G9™ ... Editing System is a complete system for culturing and transfecting human pluripotent ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... Any dentist who has made an implant supported ... Many of them do not even offer this as a ... laboratory costs involved. And those who ARE able to offer ... high cost that the majority of today,s patients would not ... Zadeh , founder of Dental Evolutions Inc. and inventor of ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- Roche (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: RHHBY) announced that ... PCT (procalcitonin) assay as a dedicated testing solution for ... clearance, Roche is the first IVD company in the ... risk assessment and management. PCT is a ... in blood can aid clinicians in assessing the risk ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016 Research and Markets ... Issue 52" report to their offering. ... treatment creates a favourable commercial environment for MedImmune to enter. ... base that will serve to drive considerable growth for effective ... serve to cap sales considerably, but development is still in ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: