Tag Archives: Brain Activity

Addiction consequences

Drug addiction stages in the brain

Drug addiction stages

Drug addiction stages in the brain includes pleasurable principle and that explains why the brain needs to be protected the most

Drug addiction stages in the brain: The effects of drug abuse on the brain

It will interest you to note that different type of drugs causes particular and quite specific effects of chronic drug intoxication. That is to say that effects of drug addiction stages in the brain in case of untreated drug and alcohol abuse is irreversible condition that leads to progressive deterioration of personality. Degradation begins with memory loss, inability to concentrate and further shows up in reduced physical and mental activity, in a tendency to fruitless fantasies, excessive irritability and sleep disorders. The normal human emotions, desires, interests, work skills gradually fade and meaning of life gets limited to searching for drugs. Untreated addiction undoubtedly ends up in irreversible dementia.

Drug addiction stages in the brain: Mental disorders

Mental disorders in case of a drug abuse are varied and accompany all its forms. The most common characteristic of mental disorder is psychosis, which may occur either shortly after using the drug or during the withdrawal. Acute psychosis is characterized by a pronounce  anxiety,  kind of panic attack, paranoia, consciousness disorders up to the visual, auditory and tactile hallucinations and delusions. Often such states result in committing suicide. Use of improvised and counterfeit drugs presents particular danger to life and health of a drug addict. Chronic drug users look physically exhausted. They have distinctive appearance: pallor, poor skin elasticity, feverish bright eyes, dry nails, hair loss, they are underweight.  Addicts look much older than their physiological age. All male drug addicts sooner or later develop impotence, as well as female addicts develop frigidity. Negatively affected by drugs and alcohol germ cells often result in the birth of weak and sick children with different congenital defects. Pregnancy in case of active drug use runs hard, with complications and high chances of miscarriage and preterm birth. After birth such children are growing poorly, lagging behind in their physical and mental development. They often get sick. Children whose mothers were on drugs during pregnancy are already born addicted to drugs with all ensuing consequences.

Finally take note that all drugs without any exception destroy the brain in the first place and you need not to get to the second one so long as you are using a drug the first one is sufficient. Doctor Akoury concludes that even if you smoke marijuana which is considered the weakest of all drugs occasionally, you are already initiating the irreversible effects of drug abuse on the brain which manifest in weakening attention, reduced memory capacity, in forming the typical for the drug addicts thinking and behavior patterns, which are very well shown in numerous drug addicts jokes and “freaky films” with their peculiar flat sense of humor. The stronger the drug the worse their effects therefore for the purpose of your good health understanding the three stages of drug addiction is very important. And with that done if you are suffering from any form of addiction, you now have an opportunity to correct it by scheduling for an appointment with doctor Dalal Akoury today for the commencement of your recovery process today.

Drug addiction stages in the brain: The effects of drug abuse on the brain

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brain

Central nervous system depressants

Central nervous system

Central nervous system depressants and a balance neurotransmitters for good management of your health.

Central nervous system depressants: What are depressant?

It is amazing how drugs abuse can accumulate so many names. And irrespective of the name used, their effects in human life still remain the same. We want to discuss about the depressants which are also known as central nervous system depressant besides other street names like barbs, reds, red birds, phennies, tooies, yellows, or yellow jackets, candy, downers, sleeping pills, or tranks, A-minus, or zombie pills. Central nervous system tranquilizers derails the normal activities of the brain and even that of the spinal cord say doctor Dalal Akoury MD, President and founder of AWAREmed Health and Wellness Resource Center which is a health facility founded with soul objective of offering addiction solution to the suffering communities and the globe at large.

From her experience of over two decades in this profession, doctor Akoury agrees that medical doctors often prescribe depressants to people who are anxious or are just struggling getting quality sleep. This is a common practice and nothing is wrong with that. Depressant when taken religiously as prescribed by the doctor are beneficial to patients. However when central nervous system depressants are abuse or used wrongly, the consequences can be very severe. Doctor Akoury reiterates that when depressants are misused, dependence and addiction are inevitable risks. As individual users continues abusing these prescription drugs either by taking someone else medication or just taking your own inappropriately to get high, all the other chronic health conditions that are associated with drug addiction can easily attack such users.

As we continue exploring on the effects of depressants, it is important to note that, these drugs can be divided into three primary groups: barbiturates, benzodiazepines, and sleep medications. Each of these groups will equally cause harm if not used appropriately. Careful attention needs to be taken in ensuring that the right prescription is used and the doctors instructions followed religiously. In the meantime if for whatever reason you did not follow instructions well and you’re now suffering from its addiction, all is not lost. You can still get your life back if only you can schedule for an appointment with doctor Akoury today for professional guidance.

Central nervous system depressants: How are depressant abused?

Depressants usually come either in pill or capsule form. They can be abused in different ways including some of the following:

  • Taking someone else’s prescription depressant medication.
  • Taking a depressant medication in total disregard of the doctor’s advice.
  • Experimenting with or taking depressants just for fun or to get high.
  • Taking a depressant while under the influence of other drugs.

Central nervous system depressants: How do depressants affects the brain?

Most depressants affect the brain by increasing the activity of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a chemical in the brain that sends messages between cells. The increased GABA activity in turn slows down brain activity. This causes a relaxing effect that is helpful to people with anxiety or sleep problems. And like with other drugs, taking too much of GABA activity can be very harmful. Finally you can avoid all these harmful effects by seeking for help from the experts at AWAREmed Health and Wellness Resource Center today and you will not regret having done so.

Central nervous system depressants: What are depressant?

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TOPICAL Weight Loss 10283502042

Misfiring Sex Hormones Cause a Spiral Downward: Havoc on the Brain

The effects of misfiring sex hormones to the brain

The hormones regulating sexual response in humans are testosterone, estrogen, progesterone, oxytocin, and vasopressin.  Testosterone is most prevalent in males and estrogen and progesterone in females. Oxytocin and vasopressin are present equally in both men and women.

Each hormone plays a specific function in sexual motivation and response. Testosterone encourages males to compete for the attention of females. Estrogen increases sexual motivation in women, and is most elevated during ovulation, while at the same time progesterone, which lowers female sexual motivation, is lower. Oxytocin is associated with sexual pleasure and is the hormone responsible for forming emotional bonds. Vasopressin levels are raised during arousal in males, and may contribute towards increased sexual motivation.

brain havocWhen released at regular levels and at the correct times in response to ovulatory cycles or sexual stimulus, these hormones create the motivation for sexual reproduction and increase the pleasure response that it generates.

However, when these hormones are out of balance or secreted at the wrong time, they can have very adverse effects on one’s wellbeing.

Many women are aware of the link between hormones and mental health, having experienced it on a monthly basis in the form of PMS and mood swings in the time approaching the onset of her menstrual cycle. When the body undergoes puberty, the rising and falling hormone levels also result in mood swings, depression, irritability, and aggression. Pregnancy also releases a flood of hormones which affect mood and can in some women cause severe post-partum depression after giving birth. Menopause and menopausal symptoms of irritability, erratic behavior, changes in sex drive, brain fog, and hot flashes are also all the result of hormones being out of balance.

Although the mechanics of hormone-induced mental health issues are not fully understood, it would appear from the reactions that estrogen and progesterone, particularly, interact with the production and reception of serotonin and GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) neurotransmitters in the brain. The fluctuation of estrogen and progesterone around the time of menstruation causes PMS and also PMDD or premenstrual dysphoric disorder. PMDD manifests in severe depression and anxiety, as well as seasonal affective disorder (SAD). PMDD sufferers have been misdiagnosed as bi-polar or with any of some other psychological disorders, because of the havoc wreaked by their hormones on their brain chemistry.

One sufferer in Cornwall stated: “The most bizarre part is that as soon as I start bleeding it goes away. Literally 30 minutes or an hour later and I feel totally normal again. Like I’ve been in a fog for a week and then I just step out”. However, she says of the week to ten days before her period: “Smells are stronger, sounds are louder, things that don’t bother me normally become a major issue, I’m clumsy and accident prone, totally exhausted and emotional. As I get closer to my period all of that intensifies and gets coupled with an extreme self-loathing, sometimes even suicidal thoughts. I look in the mirror, and my whole face looks different, distorted and not myself. It sounds bonkers; it feels bonkers.”

This disorder affects approximately 5% of menstruating women, although the prevalence may be much higher but simply go unreported.

And women are not the only sufferers. Men who experience an excess of estrogen are prone to depression and mood swings as well. Too little testosterone will display in symptoms such as fatigue, weight gain, loss of libido, and depression.

Check out our Integrative Addiction Conference 2016 being held in Austin, Texas

 

Tests and studies carried out in a Canadian ice hockey team yielded some results regarding the effect of testosterone on mood and mental health, and showed a direct correlation between testosterone levels and confidence and aggression. The research into the link between testosterone and competitiveness returns very mixed results depending on the baseline personality of the subject.

Excess testosterone is metabolized into estrogen, which in some men results in metal health issues which are often diagnosed as bi-polar disorder. Studies conducted on some such patients which included hormone replacement therapy instead of the bi-polar medication which they had been taking showed positive results in their behavior and mental health.

Testosterone has also been shown to have a causal effect on egocentric and anti-social behavior. Also, low testosterone levels in men have been found to have a detrimental effect on sleep patterns. Disrupted sleep can have many psychological and physiological consequences, including heart disease, diabetes, stroke, obesity, and depression.

Diagnosing and recognizing hormone-related disorders is the challenge. Very often this cause is overlooked and remains untreated. Regulating hormone levels in cases of mental health issues could present a long-term solution. Much research and study in this area are still necessary to fully understand and determine the link between the hormones and mental health.

The effect of hormones on mental health and wellbeing will be one of the topics under discussion at the upcoming Integrated Addiction Conference. Register online at https://www.awaremed.com/integrativeaddictionconference/ for access to the forum and discussions and to attend the event.

 

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gut-neurotransmitters

Gut Neurotransmitters Connection and Addiction

Gut Neurotransmitters Connection and Addiction

With current and ongoing advancements in genetic testing and scientific knowledge, mankind is discovering more about the inner workings of the human body than ever before. Among the new discoveries and paths of inquiry is the link between gut health and psychological and neurological responses. It has been found that gut flora can have a significant influence on the developing brain chemistry of children, which can have an impact on their behavior as adults.

At the Integrative Addiction Conference 2016, experts on the subjects of addiction and nutrition address the link between gut flora, neurotransmitters, and addiction.

There are over three million bacterial cells inhabiting our bodies, and these bacteria can affect our bodies and minds in ways that we are only just beginning to explore. These bacteria can alter our ability to absorb certain vitamins and other vital nutrients, such as Vitamin B6, which is supposed to promote the health of nerve and muscle cells. Bacteria also affect the body’s immune response, increasing the risk of autoimmune diseases and other illnesses.

gut neurotransmitters However, the body requires certain beneficial bacteria to function correctly. Strains of Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus have been shown to not only control numbers of pathogenic bacteria, but also to favorably interact with the immune system and endocrinal system with long-term benefits.

Bacteria and other microbes have also been proven to affect brain chemistry and neurotransmitter production and reception. Studies in rats and mice have shown that those without the beneficial bacteria in their guts have impaired production of Brain-derived Neurotrophic Factor or BDNF. This protein is known to be involved in anxiety response in humans, and low levels have been implicated in various psychiatric diseases including depression and chronic anxiety.

The animals which had no beneficial gut flora also displayed changes in the NMDA and 5HT1A neurotransmitter receptors, which are also involved in mood regulation. In schizophrenia and bi-polar disorder, it is known that part of the cause is a faulty NMDA receptor. Production of tryptophan, the precursor to the generation of serotonin, is also adversely affected by the lack of beneficial gut flora.

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter which regulates our moods. It is also known as the “happiness molecule” and a deficit in serotonin levels is linked to depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety, eating disorders, and insomnia, among others. In men, low serotonin levels are expressed as ADHD, impulsive behavior, and excessive drinking. Women are more likely to experience mood imbalances and food cravings.

Dopamine production and reception are also affected by the imbalance of gut flora. Dopamine is the “motivation molecule” and this is what gives us the ability to see things through, as well as giving us a sense of accomplishment when we achieve our goals. Dopamine deficiency manifests as apathy and lack of motivation, lack of ability to experience pleasure, and low libido. Very often the response to low dopamine levels is over-indulgence in pleasure-inducing substances such as alcohol and recreational drugs, or other self-destructive behaviors.

To function properly and be content, the levels of serotonin and dopamine should remain balanced. If we have too much serotonin and not enough dopamine, we feel unable to do anything and lack energy and drive. If dopamine is dominant over serotonin, we are unable to feel happiness and can only see problems without solutions.

gut neurotransmitters connectionsIf both dopamine and serotonin levels are low, we will have no motivation and no pleasure or contentment, resulting in depression and cravings.

 

Check out our Integrative Addiction Conference 2016 being held in Austin, Texas

 

A large proportion of these neurochemicals is produced in the gut and affect appetite. It is only recently that research has been made into the possibility that the microbes in the gut produce the substances. As the production of these neurotransmitters and the anatomy of their receptors becomes affected or damaged by the presence of harmful microbes and the lack of beneficial bacteria in the gut, the symptoms associated with their deficiency or imbalance increase. Sufferers rely on ever-increasing quantities of mood-altering substances to balance the shortfall. But the pleasure granted by these devices and substances becomes more and more fleeting, so more and more has to be taken for the same “high”. Thus, addiction is born.

Colonizing the gut with healthy and beneficial bacteria is a process that has to start in childhood to be fully effective in regulating and maintaining brain chemistry. Once the neurotransmitters have been affected, it is much more difficult to rectify the problem and restore the balance. Understanding the problem informs the solution. Adopt a diet that limits gut damage and prevents the release of harmful bacteria into the blood stream. Nutritional supplements and probiotics can restore the beneficial gut flora to healthy levels. There are also supplements that can increase the production and supply of the neurotransmitters. A holistic and integrated approach to a solution will be more effective than treating only the neurochemical imbalance without addressing the cause, which lies in the gut and the gut flora.

The link between the gut, the brain, and addiction will be explored more fully at the Integrative Addiction Conference in August 2016. For more information and to register, visit the website at https://www.awaremed.com/integrativeaddictionconference/.

 

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sex

Brain Activity In Sexual Addiction

Understanding Brain Activity In Sexual Addiction

Brain activity was studied while the subjects were looking at pornographic pictures.  The researchers responsible for this study used fMRI which uses a BOLD signal to monitor brain activity.  They studied the responses of 19 male subjects who were self-admitted sexual addicts who were unable to control their sexual behavior and whose sexual behavior was causing significant problems for them. They then compared these findings with 19 other young men who were classified as being healthy and who had no problems with controlling their sexual habits.

Compared to the 19 healthy volunteers, the men afflicted with compulsive sexual behavior had started looking at pornographic pictures at a younger age and spent significantly more time looking at pornographic literature than did the healthy volunteers.  In many ways, the patients resembled people who are addicted to drugs, in that they continued behaviors that were having negative impacts on their relationships and jobs.  The objective of the study was to find out if their brains mirrored the same type of activity as did the brains of drug addicts.

Brain Activity In Sexual Addiction

To this end, both the healthy volunteers and the patients were shown a series of short videos.  The videos were either sexually explicit in nature, or they were oriented towards sports.  While these videos were being shown, their brain activity was monitored using an fMRI which uses a BOLD (blood oxygen level dependent) signal.  The result was that the patients brains had significant increases in activity in three separate areas of the brain, the ventral striatum, the dorsal anterior cingulate and the amygdala, are regions that are also particularly activated in addicts when shown drug stimuli.

The ventral striatum is involved in processing rewards and motivation while the anterior cingulate is involved in anticipating rewards and therefore in drug craving.  The amygdala is involved in the processing of the significance of events and emotions.  The participants in the study were asked to fill out a questionnaire which asked them to rate the videos they saw as to the level of sexual desire experienced while they watched the videos and how much they liked each video.

The reason for the questionnaire was to measure the amount of desire experienced and compared that to the amount of liking.  This is because drug addicts are driven to seek their drug because they perceive a need for it, but have little or no enjoyment of it. In fact, many addicts will state that they don’t use drugs because they enjoy the high any more but because they become really ill if they don’t.

 

The result of the questionnaire was as expected—the sex addicts rated the amount of desire experienced while watching the sexually explicit videos as being high or very high, but rated the liking of the same video as being poor or very low.  This means that the experience perceived by the patients was while stimulating, not very enjoyable.  The patients also experienced higher interactions within the regions of the network identified—with a greater amount of cross-talk between the three regions specified—while watching the sexually explicit rather than the sports videos.

The researchers also found a higher correlation between the age of the patients and the amount of brain activity—the younger patients had higher levels of activity in the ventral striatum in response to pornography. This association was strongest in patients with abnormal sexual activity. The frontal control regions of our brains—the brakes that control our compulsiveness—continue to develop into the mid-twenties.  This imbalance may account for the greater impulsivity and risk-taking associated with young people. The age-related findings in these patients suggest that the ventral striatum may be involved in the development of compulsive sexual behavior much as it is in the development of drug addiction.

Also, a second study seems to show that people with compulsive sexual behavior are more susceptible to cues that trigger their compulsion than are healthy men.  This study showed the men, who were divided between “healthy” men and sex addicts.  They were given identical tasks.  The first task involved looking at a series of images in pairs. These images were of naked women, furniture, and clothed women. They were then shown another series of images, some of which were familiar, and others which were not and told to choose a pair of pictures to win a specified amount of money. The researchers found that the sex addicts were more prone to choose the novel over the familiar choice for sexual images relative to neutral object images but that healthy men were more likely to choose the novel choice for neutral female images over neutral object images.

 

A second task involved learning to associate certain images overlaid with patterns with reward—similar to Pavlov’s dogs.  The men were then given a choice between those images and novel images. This time, the addicts were more likely to pick cues associated with monetary and sexual rewards. This supports the theory that seemingly innocuous cues can trigger a sex addict to seek out sexual images.

Understanding Brain Activity In Sexual Addiction

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