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:2/12/2016)... ... February 12, 2016 , ... ... initiative—the Siemens Foundation-PATH Ingenuity Fellowships—to develop the advanced skills needed to introduce ... from U.S. universities who will draw from Siemens’ deep knowledge of product ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... February 12, 2016 , ... ... 29, 2016 — 1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. EST, http://www.fdanews.com/fixeddosecombination ... the life cycle of pharmaceutical products, garnering increased attention from all stakeholders in ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... February 12, 2016 , ... Coco Libre, ... participation in Red Carpet Events LA GRAMMY’s Style Lounge Event. Coco Libre will offer ... to stay hydrated before the big event. The invitation-only gifting suite, held this year ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... February 12, 2016 , ... ... (WaaS), today announced the integration of Clarity Intelligence Platform (CIP) into Cielo®, a ... offer real-time business intelligence (BI) to their small and medium business (SMB) clients. ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... ... AssureVest Insurance Group, a locally owned insurance firm with offices serving Washington ... earmarked to purchase computers and software for Mrs. Harrison’s 2nd and 3rd grade special ... low-income area and has more than 60 2nd and 3rd graders with learning disabilities. ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/12/2016)... 12 februari 2016 AAIPharma Services ... leverancier van productie en ontwikkeling op maat ... vandaag een uitbreiding aan van steriele vul- ... in Charleston, SC . ... meerdere recente investeringen. http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20150806/256637LOGO ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... BUDAPEST , Ungarn, February 12, 2016 ... ein Medizintechnikunternehmen, das sich auf den ungedeckten ... gab heute positive Ergebnisse seines klinischen Forschungsprogramms ... und Asthma-Patienten beschäftigt, ergab Verbesserungen ihrer respiratorischen ... Indiso ltd , ein Medizintechnikunternehmen, das ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... - Cardiac Marker Diagnostic ... and Cancer Therapy. - European Point of Care ... - Key Diagnostic Testing Markets. - Molecular ... Genetic Testing. - Molecular Diagnostics in Infectious Disease ... Diagnostic Products World Markets. - Point of Care ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: