Navigation Links
New street drug 'bath salts' packs double punch
Date:2/23/2012

San Diego, Calif. The street drug commonly referred to as "bath salts" is one of a growing list of synthetic and unevenly regulated narcotics that are found across the United States and on the Internet. New research on this potent drug paints an alarming picture, revealing that bath salts pack a powerful double punch, producing combined effects similar to both methamphetamine (METH) and cocaine.

"This combination of effects is particularly novel and unexpected," said Louis J. De Felice of Virginia Commonwealth University's School of Medicine in Richmond. "Methamphetamine and cocaine operate in the brain in completely opposite ways. It would be atypical that both drugs would be taken together, but that's the effect that occurs with bath salts."

De Felice and his colleagues will present their research at the 56th Annual Meeting of the Biophysical Society (BPS), held Feb. 25-29 in San Diego, Calif.

The team's research reveals that bath salts contain two structurally similar chemicals that produce quite dissimilar effects on the brain's dopamine transport system. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that plays an important role in the brain's pleasure and reward centers. Though bath salts' chemicals are structurally similar, both acting as potent psycho-stimulants, they use completely opposite mechanisms in the brain.

The first component is a dopamine-releasing agent known as mephedrone (MEPH), which like METH causes the brain to release more dopamine. The other chemical is methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV), which like cocaine is a dopamine reuptake inhibitor. Both compounds increase dopamine availability to receptors, and both through different mechanisms produce feelings of euphoria.

The surprising finding is that rather than canceling each other out, as would be anticipated, the chemicals combine to enhance the effects of the other. "The two drugs have different kinetics, so rather than cancel each other they exacerbate the effect of either drug applied alone," said De Felice.

The researchers began this particular project as part of a larger study on how amphetamine and METH affect the human dopamine transporter molecule. They made the novel finding that both chemicals create long-lasting effects that endure 30 minutes or more after the drugs are removed. This initial research continued with cathinone (CATH), which is a naturally occurring compound found in the khat shrub (Catha edulis). The drugs found in bath salts (MEPH and MDPV) are synthetic derivatives of CATH.

"The stimulant and blocker features of these drugs have been studied previously," said De Felice, "but the evidence for long-lasting stimulation by MEPH and inhibition by MDPV is novel. It also is in some sense unexpected that two structurally similar agents could act oppositely at the dopamine transporter."

The researchers do not yet know why these drugs have a persistent effect. They also don't understand the fundamental reason why two structurally similar drugs act oppositely on the dopamine transporter.

"There also are many questions on the meaning of these findings for the dozens of other illicit synthetic drugs that have found their way to the street," concludes De Felice. "We do suspect, however, that the combination that is found in bath salts could be behind its powerful physiological and neurological effect on users."

According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers, there were more than 6,000 calls to poison control centers pertaining to bath salts in 2011, more than ten times the number in 2010. Reported symptoms of exposure include increased blood pressure, increased heart rate, agitation, hallucinations, extreme paranoia, and delusions.

The presentation, "'Bath Salts': A synthetic cathinone whose two major components act similar to methamphetamine and cocaine on the human dopamine transporter," is at 9:15 a.m. on Monday, Feb. 27, 2012, in the San Diego Convention Center, Room 24ABC. ABSTRACT: http://tinyurl.com/7qppna8


'/>"/>

Contact: Ellen R. Weiss
eweiss@biophysics.org
240-290-5606
American Institute of Physics
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. MainStreet MD Launches Personal Safety Solutions for Children and Seniors Built On SensorLogic's Cloud Computing Platform
2. Summer Street Capital Announces the Addition of Barry D. Freeman as Healthcare Advisory Partner
3. Earth Class Mail™ Introduces Miami and Chicago Street Addresses
4. Study Shows You Don't Need Wall Street Sized Bonuses to Raise Employee Morale
5. San Francisco AIDS Foundation Introduces HIV Testing to Sixth Street
6. New York Personal Injury Attorney Interprets Increase in Tickets for Cyclists as Effort to Make Streets Safer
7. Global Leader Readied For Healthy Aging Boom, Targets Wall Street With New Center In Trump Building
8. Trikz Streetball Basketball iTunes App Promotion: Only $.99 to Unlock All Content for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad
9. Sam's Club Tests Online Small Business Loan Program for Main Street
10. Street outreach workers an important tool for violence prevention and intervention
11. Diabetes, Depression Can Be Two-Way Street
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/23/2017)... ... February 23, 2017 , ... Los Angeles-based weight loss surgeon Michael Feiz, M.D., ... From Not to Hot,” which will begin airing on February 24, 2017. The show ... from the 2012 reality television series, “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.” The earlier series ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... ... February 23, 2017 , ... On April 13, ... symposium on “Doping in Sport: How the Culture Might Change,” in ... LLP. The symposium will be held at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California. , ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Current Meditation , a new meditation ... the U.S. starting this spring. Current Meditation focuses on “meditation for the modern ... Meditation will be the first meditation concept in the U.S. offering franchising opportunities, ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... February 23, 2017 , ... CALNOC, the ... FACMPE, FACPE, will keynote their upcoming conference – Empowerment, Value and Collaboration – in ... chairman and CEO of the Virginia Mason Health System in Seattle since 2000. In ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Thomas Vas-Don suffered from severe injury due to ... able to successfully recover. In “ Origin & Insertion Charts for Massage Therapists ” ... principals of massage, anatomy , trigger points and referral pain patterns . ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/24/2017)... NEW YORK , Feb. 23, 2017 ... gives comprehensive insights on the various drugs ... The report covers all the drugs that ... Preclinical & Clinical). The pipeline focuses on ... small molecules, antibodies, stem cell therapies, recombinant ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... STOCKHOLM , Feb 24, 2017 ... Nomination Committee,s proposal for a new Board of Directors ... Meeting. The 2016-2017 Nomination Committee comprises representatives of the ... third quarter of 2016 who have accepted a seat ... Board. The composition of the 2016-2017 Nomination Committee was ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... 2017 Research and Markets has announced the ... - 2016" report to their offering. ... The latest research Urinary Incontinence Drugs ... benchmarks in the global Urinary Incontinence market. The research answers ... key drugs marketed for Urinary Incontinence and their clinical attributes? How ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: