Drugs of abuse that cause developing neurons to commit suicide
by
Farber NB, Olney JW.
Department of Psychiatry, Washington University,
Campus Box 8134, 660 S. Euclid Avenue,
St. Louis, MO 63110-1093, USA.
farbern@psychiatry.wustl.edu
Brain Res Dev Brain Res. 2003 Dec 30;147(1-2):37-45.


ABSTRACT

When neuronal activity is abnormally suppressed during the developmental period of synaptogenesis, the timing and sequence of synaptic connections is disrupted, and this causes nerve cells to receive an internal signal to commit suicide, a form of cell death known as "apoptosis". By altering glutamate and GABA transmission alcohol suppresses neuronal activity, causing millions of nerve cells to commit suicide in the developing brain. This proapoptotic effect of alcohol provides a likely explanation for the diminished brain size and lifelong neurobehavioral disturbances associated with the human fetal alcohol syndrome. These findings have public health significance, not only in relation to fetal alcohol syndrome, but also in relation to several other drugs of abuse and various drugs used in obstetric and pediatric medicine, because these additional drugs (e.g. phencyclidine, ketamine, benzodiazepines, barbiturates) also suppress neuronal activity and drive developing neurons to commit suicide.
People
Toxicity
Anaesthesia
Thiopentone
Nitrous oxide
Inhaled anaesthetics
Obstetric anaesthesia
Molecular mechanisms
Chloroform anaesthesia
A thalamocortical switch?
Anaesthesia and the spinal chord
History of anaesthesia apparatus
Consciousness, anaesthesia and anaesthetics
Anaesthesia: mutants in yeast, nematodes, fruit flies and mice



Refs
and further reading

general-anaesthesia.com
HOME
HedWeb
Nootropics
erythroxylum-coca.com
Future Opioids
BLTC Research
MDMA/Ecstasy
Superhappiness?
Utopian Surgery?
The Good Drug Guide
The Abolitionist Project
The Hedonistic Imperative
The Reproductive Revolution
Critique of Huxley's Brave New World