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Brain Damage Similar to Alzheimer's from opiate use.

Discussion in 'Opiate addiction' started by oggy, May 3, 2008.

  1. oggy

    oggy R.I.P. Silver Member

    Reputation Points:
    Aug 29, 2005
    34 y/o Male
    Found this info here http://alcoholism.about.com/od/sa/a/blue050621.htm Could be a bunch of lies? Al-tho Edinburgh University is one of the top universities in the world so I doubt it.

    Damaged Observed as Early as Age 17

    Young drug abusers are up to three times more likely to suffer brain damage than those who don't use drugs, according to research published online by Neuropathology and Applied Neurobiology.

    Scientists at the University of Edinburgh studied the brains of 34 deceased intravaneous drug abusers of heroin and methadone and compared them to the brains of 16 young people who were not drug users. Their examination revealed brain damage in the drug abusers normally seen in much older people.

    The damaged nerve cells were in the areas of the brain involved in learning, memory and emotional well being, and were similar to damage found in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease.

    "Our study shows evidence of an increased risk of brain damage associated with heroin and methadone use, which may be highest in the young, when individuals are most likely to acquire the habit" said co-author Jeanne Bell Professor of Neuropathology. "We found that the brains of these young drug abusers showed significantly higher levels of two key proteins associated with brain damage."

    "In a previous study we found out that drug abuse causes low grade inflammation in the brain. Taken together, the two studies suggest that intravenous opiate abuse may be linked to premature ageing of the brain," Bell said.

    Heroin and Methadone Cause Damage
    The average age in these two groups in the study was only 26 years and included some drug abusers as young as 17.

    "Tau protein, which in its soluble form is essential for communication and transport within brain cells, had become insoluble in some cells, causing nerve cell damage and death in selected areas of the brain," the authors reported. "Other nerve cells showed an accumulation of the amyloid precursor protein, which suggests that protein transport had been disrupted and the nerve cell functions affected."

    Severe Nerve Cell Damage
    "This study shows that drug abuse can lead to a build up of proteins which cause severe nerve cell damage and death in essential parts of the brain. This is very worrying as there are strong indications that drug use in the UK, in particular opiates like heroin and methadone, has continued to rise in recent years" says Professor Bell.

    "The drug abusers we looked at in the study sadly died at a young age, but there are many others who don't realise the long-term effects that these drugs may be causing."

    Source: S. N. Ramage, I. C. Anthony, F. W. Carnie, A. Busuttil, R. Robertson, J. E. Bell, "Hyperphosphorylated tau and amyloid precursor protein deposition is increased in the brains of young drug abusers," Neuropathology and Applied Neurobiology, June 2005.

    The 2007 Times Higher Education Supplement [THES] World University Rankings ranked the University of Edinburgh as follows

    * 23rd in the world
    * 5th in the UK
    * 5th in Europe overall

    The Guardian University Guide 2008 ranked the University of Edinburgh as follows

    * 7th in the UK overall
    * 1st in the UK for computer science
    * 1st in the UK for physics
    * 2nd in the UK for medicine
    * 2nd in the UK for veterinary science
  2. stoneinfocus

    stoneinfocus Newbie

    Reputation Points:
    Jun 23, 2006
    Co-dependencies? Alcohol-abuse?
    Further data like medical history/ situation of the partakers?

    Controls, like a group of opiate-treated pain patients?
  3. oggy

    oggy R.I.P. Silver Member

    Reputation Points:
    Aug 29, 2005
    34 y/o Male
    Sorry can't find that just now but this might help cure people wanting to go clean or that have just gone clean but still don't feel quite right. As caused by opiates and other drugs (alcohol, smoking), Swim believes it to be damage to the neurotransmitters, which can be repaired following this nutrition and supplement advice.

    3) Oral nutrition: Increase the right proteins!!!! Proteins are the building blocks for neurotransmitters and neurotransmitter receptors…as well as the building blocks for your natural opiate receptors

    · For 3 weeks you must remove all red meats from your diet. Red meat has chemical components that increase inflammation and pain. Fish, chicken, eggs are good sources of protein. If you are having a hard time taking in solid foods go to a health food store and buy protein powders that can be made into smoothies or drinks. You absolutely must have increased protein intake…proteins are the building blocks for all enzymes, neurotransmitters, and enzyme receptors in the body. No chemical works in the body without receptors. Just like opioids have to have opioid receptors—which are down regulated during methadone use—this is the reason people have long-lasting pain and aggravation coming off methadone…this isn’t much of a problem with heroin use because of it’s short half-life…proteins are essential for the repair work in recovery…I now use a formulation made by Neuroresearch…their Neuroreplete/D-5 protein formulas works well for those coming off of methadone, methamphetamines and benzodiazepines or any drug for that matter…for more information on this product go to xxxxxxxxx or xxxxxxxxxx and try to find a doctor close to you that will help you get his product…in fact I treat all my methadone withdrawal patients with this formula

    · L-Methionine—a sulfur bearing amino acid…necessary for the production of S-Adenosyl-methionine (SAM-e)…SAM-e is a necessary cofactor in the production of the master neurotransmitters—serotonin, dopamine, adrenalin, and nor-adrenalin…this must be added to any amino acid therapy directed at rebuilding neurotransmitter production and function…500 mg—two twice per day

    · Increase your intake of raw fruits and vegetables…you get little or nothing from canned foods…fresh fruits and veges are loaded with fiber which help bind and remove toxins from your body…they also normalize gut function

    · Stay off candy, and other sugar heavy foods

    · Drink lots of good water, green teas are good for the antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties…no cokes or soda waters for three weeks

    · When capable you must start exercising…swimming is best because it is low impact exercise…yoga…tai chi…walking daily…detoxing or otherwise…exercise is a normal component of good health

    Supplements: Some need less and some more…remember the efficacy of all nutrition and supplement use is ultimately guided by your genetics…and we are all different to some degree…This is the value of seeing a good Naturopathic physician in the state you are in…The fact is that very few Medical Doctors know anything about nutrition…70%-75% of the standard medical schools in this country have absolutely no nutritional classes what-so-ever…in the other 25 %--nutrition is often a 14-20 hour block of education and this is commonly an elective…Naturopathic physicians that are educated in a medical school environment are taught nutrition extensively with the associated biochemistry.

    · I use the following with all types of drug and alcohol recovery….

    * Multivitamin

    with a strong mineral component: in gel caps only…an excellent quality multivitamin is absolutely necessary…remember that vitamins and minerals are cofactors/coenzymes for repair, healing, and normal function of the body…most times I have patients double up on multivitamins for the first 3-4 weeks


    * Mineral complex

    see above

    * Fish oils, or flax seed oil

    necessary for repair and proper function of cellular membranes…anti-inflammatory…these need to be mixed omega 3, omega 6, omega 9 oils—4000 to 6000 mg per day in split doses…although some can be purchased as liguids and mixed with your smoothies.

    · If you don’t do the drinks…get proteins as

    * free amino acids

    …double up


    * L-Glutamine 500mg caps

    …at least 2000-3000 mg per day…split the dose so that your doing it at least twice per day…helps heal the gut and the building block for GABA…the primary inhibitory neurotransmitter…helps slow things down…Do not take GABA as a supplement…GABA is make in the brain…when out side the brain the molecule is to large to cross the blood brain barrier…the building block for GABA is L-Glutamine or Glutamic acid…these building blocks readily cross the blood brain barrier.


    * Valarian Root 450 mg

    : Botanical that reduces anxiety and helps one to sleep…Kava, Jamaican Dog Wood, Lemon Balm, Avena are all nervine botanicals which can be used together or by self…I find the doses for each individual varies but typically 1000 to 1500 mg every 4 hours.


    * Melatonin

    …dosages vary…this is a hormone released from the pinal gland in the human body at night time for sleep…this is essential for those coming off opioids…in my experience as little as 1 mg to 30 mg has been effective…do what you have to do…I’ve had addicts coming off $100.00 a day habits sleep 4 hours the first night…start low and add 3-5 mg every half-hour till sleep…research on healthy volunteers using up to 100 mg of melatonin in a single dose shows little side effects…Melatonin is also known as a very strong antioxidant with 1000 times the potency as Vit E…Take only at night when you would be going to bed at the regular time…the room must be dark…that’s the way this hormone is released in the natural state…


    * Full Spectrum antioxidants:

    relieves inflammation and helps normalize inflammatory pathways and reduces damaging molecules (free radicals) present in the system while detoxing


    * Vitamin C:

    2000-3000 mg per day divided doses…


    * Reduced L-Glutathione 300mg per day:

    Helps liver detox metabolites of methadone…Detoxing agents can be found in many products…most in combinations…


    * Adrenal Support:

    Research has shown that methadone, and drug use in general, has profound effects on the adrenal glands. In fact, research shows that there is a profound negative effect by methadone on the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. This is why those that withdraw from methadone have protracted fatigue and problems with anxiety and insomnia. I often use freeze dried adrenal extracts in treatment with fairly good results. You’ll find these products listed under names such as Adrenal Plus, or Adrenplus…the starting dose is around 1000 mg per day in split doses.


    * Milk Thistle with alpha-Lipoic Acid

    is one combination that I use extensively---for liver repair and detoxification…1200 to 1500 mg of milk thistle and 400 mg of lipoic acid per day in split doses
    This is the basics. There is absolutely no way to eliminate all the problems associated with withdrawal from methadone...one must have a supportive environment and often with daily visits from a compassionate health care provider…This will not kill you…it will be a miserable event…what kills most is the movement back to street drugs to ward off the side effects of withdrawal. If fact, cold turkey deaths coming off opioids and methadone are rare and usually associated with other health problems, or overdosing on prescription medications…withdrawal from methadone is much less of a risk than total withdrawal from alcohol. I wish you all luck on this endeavor…My compassion and empathy goes out to you…Ultimately, I know that you can do this…after all…it has to be done.
  4. runlikell

    runlikell Newbie

    Reputation Points:
    Oct 16, 2009
    Male from U.S.A.
    I'll tell you what, I'm pretty darned skeptical that any relevant evidence whatsoever can be exracted from that study. It had red flags all over the place. First of all, the study only has a sample size of 34 subjects--that is so small that it makes it ridiculously easy for matters of mere chance to cause drastic changes upon the results. Think about a coin toss, which in theory should have a 50/50 spread of heads and tails--in the long run. You toss is ten times, and get 8 heads, and only two tails--results which are not by any means unlikely--and one could walk away concluding: A coin is four times as likely to land heads than tails. And the conlcusion would be a reasonable one to make using basic logic, but it would also be 100% incorrect. The way to correct for this would be to increase the samle--toss that same coin a number of times several orders of magnitue higher in # than the first attempt, and statistical anomolies ue to chance are minimized. Toss it a trillion times, and you'll end up with something very, very close to 50/50 results (assuming, of course, a perfect coin). So that right there pretty much invaliated the entire study. It is such a basic, obvious problem that the fact that conclusions are nevertheless being attempted, with not even a mention of the small sample size, that it screams propaganda--ie, it seems what we have hear is a case of having a desired outcome beforehand, and then structureing the study to point towards that outcome. It is not sound science if you go into it with a belief already formed, in this case, that opiates harm the brain. If you contrast that study with all the other ones done on opiate effects on the brain, it falls into total obscurity.

    Opiates are the world's #1 pain killer used in hospitals for good reason. Because they are relatively safe in a controlled environment, and because they do **not cause long term harm to either the body or brain**. There are always going to be studies which suggest otherwise, but in almost every case, the studies are poorly designed and not even worth consideration. This is surely one such example.

    I highly recommend taking a statistics course if you are curious if continuing to pursue research into scienctific studies--without the underlying knowledge of how statistics can be manipulated to show just about any intended result by someone crafty enough, there is simply no way to sift through all the junk and only take into account the real science out there. It is a sad, but true, fact, that with enough money, even 'science' can be corrupted.
  5. luvsdaheat

    luvsdaheat Silver Member

    Reputation Points:
    May 30, 2012
    57 y/o Male from U.S.A.
    What he said about Stats is right-on.
    My sis-in-law is a PhD Epidemiologist - she'd skewer this one:thumbsdown:

    I've met dulled-down addicts, and I'd wager knowing two or three times more addicts who're f-ing brilliant beings. A few of about 24 non-dope reasons I came up with to explain the difference:
    * substandard living conditions = poor nutrition, no heat or a/c, questionable water.
    * Infection - specifically one that creates and/or accelerates Alzheimer's changes. I believe the culprit will be found to be viral - one that can make a home via a weak link in the brain - aberrant bioelectric communication, nutritional components, physical damage - like boxers getting neurofibrillary tangles; a "bug" would certainly exploit such a weakness and set up house. (this is a Professional Opinion, gathered empirically and refined over a quarter-century treating umpteen thousand patients plus retirees fleeing the Snow Belt) Think my virus theory is a wee bit crazy?
    One of my patients has been receiving Interferon for his Multiple Sclerosis (Interferon, is an anti-viral that's used in the treatment of Hepatitis C...which is....a virus) Not one colleague had heard of this treatment - sigh - one more disease we're not getting the whole truth on.

    That study seemed like it existed to appease the Gods of Grant Money - It was a weak-ass conclusion that lacked any depth of curiosity.....Too many variables, too few subjects, no valid controls.

    Heat `em up!
  6. Munkye

    Munkye Newbie

    Reputation Points:
    Apr 23, 2009
    Female from burundi
    Pretty much what everyone else said,
    My psychiatrist told me that heroin and opiates are the safest drug you can use/abuse if you know how to do it properly and take the right precautions (clean H, proper injection technique, cleaning wound sites, proper diet, proper dosage etc. etc.), why would he tell me this, and then tell me that amphetamines and coke/crack are the worst for damaging/destroying the body?