Navigation Links
New case studies link smoking synthetic marijuana with stroke in healthy, young adults
Date:11/19/2013

Tampa, FL (Nov. 19, 2013) -- Add stroke to the list of severe health hazards that may be associated with smoking synthetic marijuana, popularly known as spice or K2, a University of South Florida neurology team reports.

An advance online article in the journal Neurology details case studies by the USF neurologists of two healthy, young siblings who experienced acute ischemic strokes soon after smoking the street drug spice. Ischemic strokes occur when an artery to the brain is blocked.

Seizures, abnormal heart rhythms, heart attacks, psychosis, hallucinations and other serious adverse effects have been associated with smoking synthetic pot. Medical journals have also begun to report a growing number of strokes potentially related to the use of natural (non-synthetic) marijuana.

"Since the two patients were siblings, we wondered whether they might have any undiagnosed genetic conditions that predisposed them to strokes at a young age. We rigorously looked for those and didn't come up with anything," said senior author W. Scott Burgin, MD, professor of neurology at the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine and director of the Comprehensive Stroke Center at Tampa General Hospital.

"To the best of our knowledge, what appeared to be heart-derived strokes occurred in two people with otherwise healthy hearts. So more study is needed."

USF vascular neurology fellow Melissa Freeman, MD, was lead author of the paper.

Synthetic marijuana refers to a mixture of herbs, often resembling lawn clippings, that have been sprayed or soaked with a solution of designer chemicals intended to produce a high similar to cannabis when consumed. Spice can be much more potent than conventional marijuana because of the more complete way the psychoactive ingredient in the synthetic product binds to the brain's cannabinoid receptors, Dr. Burgin said.

People who smoke spice expose their brains to unidentified chemicals untested on humans.

"You don't know what you're getting when you smoke synthetic marijuana," Dr. Burgin said. "It's like the Wild West of pharmaceuticals, and you may be playing dangerously with your brain and your health."

Not identified in standard toxicology screens, spice has become the second only to natural marijuana as the most widely used illicit drug among high school seniors, according to a 2011 survey sponsored by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. In Florida, it is a third-degree felony to sell, manufacture, deliver or possess with the intent sell these synthetic drugs, so they are more difficult to buy at convenience stores or smoke shops, but still readily available online.

More physicians need to be more aware of the potentially toxic effects of recreational synthetic drugs, especially when seeing conditions like heart attack or stroke not as common in young patients, Dr. Burgin said. "Be willing to ask about pot and spice use, because it's not something patients are inclined to volunteer and synthetic marijuana does not show up on routine drug tests."

An editorial in Neurology accompanying the USF cases studies urges caution in interpreting "anecdotal reports," noting that cases of marijuana-related stroke are still few given the illicit drug's widespread use.

"In any event, if marijuana can cause ischemic stroke, and if anything pot can do spice can do better, neurologists will likely encounter increasing numbers of spice-associated strokes in the years ahead," concluded John C. M. Brust, MD, professor of clinical neurology at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.


'/>"/>

Contact: Anne DeLotto Baier
abaier@health.usf.edu
813-974-3303
University of South Florida (USF Health)
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Studies explore potential origins of addiction and treaments
2. Studies explore potential origins of addiction and treatments
3. Studies pinpoint specific brain areas and mechanisms associated with depression and anxiety
4. Colorado Knee Specialist Robert LaPrade, MD Publishes New Studies Covering the Function of the Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL) and Treatments for PCL Injuries
5. The National Cancer Institute is Presenting “Acquisition of High Quality Tissues to Support Genome Studies” at Sample Prep East in Cambridge, MA, December 9-10, 2013
6. Studies of experimental hepatitis C drug show promise for preventing recurrence in liver transplant
7. Studies: Current hepatitis C treatments cant be used by more than half of patients; others lose opportunity for treatment
8. PolyU Advances Scientific Studies of Traditional Chinese Medicine
9. Rheumatoid arthritis and heart disease: Mayo Clinic studies shed light on dangerous connection
10. New Studies Linking Environmental Toxins to Infertility Validate Benefits of Fairhaven Health's FertileDetox
11. UCSB anthropologist studies the evolutionary benefit of human personality traits
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... PawPaws brand pet supplements owned by ... to enhance the health of felines. The formula is all-natural and is made from ... the PawPaws Cat Kidney Support Supplement Soft Chews are Astragalus Root Extract ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 25, 2016 , ... The temporary closing of Bruton Memorial Library on June 21 due to ... a new, often overlooked aspect of head lice: the parasite’s ability to live away from ... common occurrence, but a necessary one in the event that lice have simply gotten out ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... On Friday, June 10, Van Mitchell, Secretary ... Work award to iHire in recognition of their exemplary accomplishments in worksite health promotion. ... Maryland Workplace Health & Wellness Symposium at the BWI Marriott in Linthicum Heights. iHire ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Marcy was in a crisis. Her son James, eight, ... at his family verbally and physically. , “When something upset him, he couldn’t control his ... it. He would throw rocks at my other children and say he was going to ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... Topical BioMedics, Inc, makers of Topricin and MyPainAway Pain Relief Products, join The ‘Business for ... $12 an hour by 2020 and then adjusting it yearly to increase at the same ... wage, assure the wage floor does not erode again, and make future increases more predictable. ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... June 24, 2016 ... announced the addition of the " Global Markets ... This report focuses ... an updated review, including its applications in various applications. ... market, which includes three main industries: pharmaceutical and biotechnology, ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016 Research ... World Market for Companion Diagnostic Tests" report to their ... Market for Companion Diagnostics The World Market ... and personalized medicine diagnostics. Market analysis in the report includes ... Test Market (In Vitro Diagnostic Kits) by Region (N. America, ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016  MedSource announced today ... its e-clinical software solution of choice.  This latest ... possible value to their clients by offering a ... preferred relationship establishes nowEDC as the EDC platform ... MedSource,s full-service clients.  "nowEDC has long been a ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: