Tag Archives: Methamphetamine

Development of a cocaine addiction in life

Development of a cocaine addiction in life: The stimulant properties in cocaine

Integrative Addiction Conference 2015

Development of a cocaine addiction in life can be eliminated through addiction trainings and teaching in this conference

The reason why cocaine is very addictive is because of its ability to copy or mimic certain chemicals in the brain. Experts have established that cocaine is a stimulant too, meaning that it operates by impersonating various chemicals in the brain which are responsible for the production and sending off messages of pleasures to the reward center. Doctor Akoury acknowledges that the stimulant properties of cocaine are contributing immensely in its addictiveness to its users thereby causing them to lose control of their lives to the drug. It is because of this loss of control that we want to take time at discuss the development of a cocaine addiction in life and also to look at the treatment options available.

To take us through the discussion, we are going to be relying on the expertise of doctor Dalal Akoury MD and also the founder of AWAREmed Health and Wellness Resource Center. Seeing the magnitude of the problem people are going through all in the name of drug addiction, Dr. Akoury made a decision to create this medical center primarily to help in the transformation of each and every individual’s life through increasing awareness about health and wellness and by empowering individuals to find their own inner healing power. Professionally, Dr. Akoury’s practice focuses on personalized medicine through healthy lifestyle choices (which are very important in dealing with all kinds of addiction) that deal with primary prevention and underlying causes instead of patching up symptoms. We are so privilege to have such experienced professionals within reach, meaning that if you are struggling with any kind of addiction, then you can schedule for an appointment with doctor Akoury today for the commencement of your treatment journey that will be done confidentially and with utmost professionalism.

Besides dealing with the individual patients in the quest of defeating drug addiction, doctor Akoury is also actively involved in the trainings of professionals. Through AWAREmed Health and Wellness Resource Center, doctor Akoury is offering her exclusive NER Recovery Treatment to other physicians and health care professionals through various methods including training, clinical apprenticeships, webinars, seminars and conferences. These are all working strategies that are usable in the fight against drug addiction and any qualified professional can now be a part of this truly successful and fast addiction recovery treatment. In line with that this coming August AWAREmed Health and Wellness Resource Center is organizing an Integrative Addiction Conference 2015 whose mission is to provide prevention education, awareness, options and support to patients and physicians dealing with addiction.

This conference is rich in new addiction treatment techniques and it is tailored to empowering physicians to be involved in determining their personal “best answer for addiction” and promoting physician/patient awareness of a natural, yet profoundly effective, addiction treatment options that result in you “thriving while surviving” during treatment and recovery. The Integrative Addiction Conference 2015 will cover topics such as:

To all addiction medical professionals out there, this is a must attend conference and if that is all you have been looking for, then you can make further enquiries through www.integrativeaddiction2015.com or email sharon@integrativeaddiction2015.com. In the meantime let us continue with the discussion about the development of a cocaine addiction in life. As we had mentioned cocaine is a stimulant, which means that it works by mimicking chemicals in your brain, producing and sending off messages of pleasure to the reward center similar to adrenaline, the effects emanating as a result of using this stimulant will actually increase your heart rate, breathing rate, and blood pressure. Alongside that, cocaine will cause your blood vessels to contract, your pupils to dilate, and body to release sugar and fat into your bloodstream. The consequence of this is will be an energized brain with increased alertness. Not only that, but cocaine can cause a spike in feelings of fear, anxiety, anger, exhilaration, euphoria, and other extremes.

Development of a cocaine addiction in life: Identifying Cocaine Addiction

It is important to note that when it comes to cocaine, even unintentional or minimal usage of this drug can lead to addiction. Ordinarily it wills starts with the body craving the drug and progressively moves to the mind thereby imprisoning the user psychologically by creating memories and the feelings of necessity. The stimulant provides sensations of happiness or pleasure to the mind, causing it to become more addicted to the experience. Doctor Akoury says that those who are addicted to cocaine typically become very obsessed on the drug to the extent of giving up basic needs in exchange of the substance. This may include forsaking regular meals, blocking out family and friends, and giving up all career goals and interests.

Development of a cocaine addiction in life: Cocaine Overdose Symptoms

We have dealt with this before however, when a person experiences too high of stimulation due to cocaine, they can suffer feelings of paranoia, panic, and even suffer from hallucinations. These life-threatening feelings can even potentially lead to seizures and strokes. Over time, the brain will become depressed by the local anesthetic effects of the drug, with coma and death become more of a risk.

Development of a cocaine addiction in life: Offering Successful Cocaine Addiction Treatment Programs

Finally treatment is the next reasonable thing that you must do when this problem is flowing in your system. Like for instance AWAREmed Health and Wellness Resource Center under the able leadership of Doctor Akoury’s care is a drug rehabilitation and treatment facility that has helped many people globally through tailor made treatment methods that enable patients to get their lives back from addiction. This facility is one in a million equipped with highly trained and experienced professional and certified staff who will do all it takes to care for even the most serious of substance addictions. We are here for you and will be waiting to receive you up on scheduling for an appointment with us for the commencement of your recovery program.

Development of a cocaine addiction in life: The stimulant properties in cocaine



Methamphetamine Use May Risk Development of Parkinson’s Disease

Methamphetamine Use May Predispose Consumers to Future Development of Parkinson’s Disease

There are several neurodegenerative disorders but it will still not be right for anybody to talk about neurodegenerative disorders without mentioning the Parkinson’s disease. This disorder is the second most common after Alzheimer’s disease and it is affecting approximately ten million people worldwide. The probability of a person suffering from this disease increases with age with most people being diagnosed after the age of 50. Early in the course of the disease, the most obvious symptoms are movement-related. These include shaking, rigidity, slowness of movement, and difficulty with walking and gait. However, the symptoms worsens as time passes by, these may include cognitive and behavioral problems with dementia commonly occurring in the advanced stages of the disease. Other symptoms include sensory, sleep, and emotional problems. PD is caused by degeneration of midbrain dopaminergic neurons that project to the striatum. The loss of striatal dopamine is responsible for the major symptoms of the disease. Although a small proportion of cases can be attributed to known genetic factors, most cases of PD are idiopathic. While the etiology of dopaminergic neuronal demise is mysterious, a combination of genetic susceptibilities, age, and environmental factors seems to play a critical role. Dopamine degeneration process in PD involves abnormal protein handling, oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction, excitotoxicity, apoptotic processes, and microglial activation or neuroinflammation.


Studies on animals on methamphetamine toxicity

Studies done on animals have shown that methamphetamine can cause long-term dopamine terminal damage as well as dopamine neuronal body loss. In rodents, repeated administration of methamphetamine causes a decrease in dopaminergic markers such as tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) and dopamine transporter. Accompanied by a reduction in TH activity, reduced levels of dopamine and its metabolites and decreased levels of vesicular monoamine transporter 2 (VMAT2). These effects occur primarily in the striatum but also in the cortex, thalamus, hypothalamus and hippocampus. Methamphetamine induces neurotoxicity in a dose-dependent manner as do other amphetamine-derivatives like MDMA. Although partial recovery of TH and dopamine transport fibers occurs after methamphetamine administration, methamphetamine-induced neurotoxicity is persistent. In mice, the greatest dopaminergic fiber loss is seen 24 hours after methamphetamine administration. Neurotoxic effects persist for more than seven days after methamphetamine exposure and one month after MDMA exposure. Drugs that induce PD symptoms and TH loss such as MPTP in mice also show a partial recovery with time in nonhuman monkeys and mice. The time courses and degrees of TH and dopamine transport fiber recovery after methamphetamine or after MDMA exposure are similar, suggesting terminal regrowth, as these two proteins are independently regulated. Researchers have also noted that there is partial recovery of dopamine levels in the striatum strongly suggesting that the regrown terminals are functional. However the mechanisms responsible for partial recovery are not known, but it is speculated that it might involve compensatory sprouting and branching as has been reported for regrowth following MPTP-induced damage. Dopamine terminal recovery has also been described in rhesus monkeys and velvet monkeys, although it appears to occur on a slower timescale than in mice. Methamphetamine-induced dopaminergic damage persists for more than 12 weeks in velvet monkeys and more than 3 years in rhesus monkeys, demonstrating the persistence of methamphetamine-induced brain damage.

Methamphetamine Toxicity in the Substantia Nigra

This drug doesn’t only cause fiber loss in TH but also produces dopamine cell body loss in the substantia nigra as shown in tests in mice that were treated with 3 methamphetamine injections (5 mg/kg) at 3-hour intervals. From the counts it is evident that 20 to 25% dopaminergic cell loss, measured at different time are linked to exposure to methamphetamine. The observed pattern of TH-stained neuron loss is very similar to the pattern of Nissl-stained neuron loss, indicating that neuronal loss is specific to dopaminergic neurons. Dopamine cell body loss was confirmed via staining with Fluoro-Jade, a general marker of neuronal degeneration that fluoresces after administration of known dopaminergic toxins such as 6-OHDA and MPTP. Fluoro-Jade stains scattered neurons degenerated in the substantia nigra after methamphetamine treatment. there is a possibility that the lack of complete recovery of TH fibers in the striatum is related to the loss of dopaminergic neurons in the Substantia nigra similar to what occurs in Parkinson’s disease.


Increased Risk of Parkinson’s Disease in Methamphetamine Abusers

There are literatures that have linked the abuse of amphetamine to the later development of PD. In a report of a study done by Callaghan and his colleagues, there is an increase in of PD in methamphetamine users in an epidemiological investigation based on data from California statewide hospital discharge records. The researchers identified 1,863 methamphetamine users, 9,315 patients hospitalized for appendicitis as a nondrug control group, and 1,720 cocaine users as a drug control group. All subjects were aged at least 50 years, had been hospitalized in California between 1990 and 2000, and had been followed for up to 10 years after discharge. The methamphetamine user group showed an elevated incidence of PD, with a 165% higher risk for development of PD than the patients from the control group. the results have been confirmed by the same group after doing the same research but in a much broader scope; 40,000 people hospitalized for methamphetamine versus 200,000 for appendicitis and 35,000 for cocaine and a 16-year follow-up period. From these two studies it is evident that methamphetamine use increases the chances of PD development in adulthood.

Drug abuse, addiction and independence are problems that people grapple with every day. These problems need to be treated effectively through integrative medicine. Dr. Dalal Akoury (MD) is an expert at this.  Call her on (843) 213-1480 for help.

Methamphetamine Use May Predispose Consumers to Future Development of Parkinson’s Disease



Striatum Methamphetamine Toxicity

Methamphetamine Toxicity in the Striatum

The striatum is a crucial part of the brain. This part of the brain plays very important roles but it can be adversely affected by the use of stimulants and other drugs of leisure. Substances such as cocaine and methamphetamine produce their primary effects inside the brain by boosting the presence of dopamine which is a neurotransmitting chemical that activates the pleasure-producing neurons contained within the limbic system. As stated above the limbic system includes the hippocampus, along with several other brain structures. According to the results of two separate studies published in 2008 in the Journal of Neuroscience and Biological Psychiatry, the presence of either cocaine or methamphetamine alters normal adult neurogenesis inside the hippocampus and damages this region’s ability replenish its neuron supply.  It is no longer news that methamphetamine intoxication causes long-lasting damage to dopamine nerve endings in the striatum. However the mechanisms underlying this neurotoxicity are not yet known but oxidative stress has been linked to it.



Microglia are the major antigen-presenting cells in brain and when activated, they secrete an array of factors that cause neuronal damage. Astoundingly, very little work has been directed at the study of microglial activation as part of the methamphetamine neurotoxic cascade. It has been report that methamphetamine activates microglia in a dose-related manner and along a time course that is coincident with dopamine nerve ending damage. Through tests done on mice scientists have discovered that prevention of methamphetamine toxicity by maintaining treated mice at low ambient temperature prevents drug-induced microglial activation. MPTP (1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine) not only damages dopamine nerve endings and cell bodies but also  causes extensive microglial activation in striatum as well as in the substantia nigra. Contrastingly, methamphetamine causes neither microglial activation in the substantia nigra nor dopamine cell body damage.

Dopamine transporter antagonists do not mimic the effect of methamphetamine on microglia. Hyperthermia, a prominent and dangerous clinical response to methamphetamine intoxication, has been also ruled out as the cause of microglial activation. Together, these data suggest that microglial activation represents an early step in methamphetamine-induced neurotoxicity. Other neurochemical effects resulting from methamphetamine-induced overflow of dopamine into the synapse, but which are not neurotoxic, do not play a role in this response.

Methamphetamine use on the rise despite effects

The use of methamphetamine has been on the rise despite the fact that it is a powerful stimulant drug that has adverse effects when abused as most people do. According to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime reported recently that abuse of amphetamines, including designer drugs such as methamphetamine and 3, 4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine, now exceeds that of cocaine and heroin on a global scale. This presents no sign that its use will decline any soon. Past researchers were able to establish a fact that methamphetamine causes persistent reductions of function in dopamine nerve endings of animals and humans. Methamphetamine neurotoxicity has been under intense study for over 20 years, but still there is much that still remains to be learned about how this dangerous drug causes damage to dopamine nerve endings. The theory that revolves around oxidative stress has been at the top of the speculations. Drug-induced oxidative stress is an attractive construct that can account for many of the effects of methamphetamine on the dopamine nerve ending such as inhibition of tyrosine hydroxylase activity as well as reductions in the dopamine transporter and the vesicle monoamine transporter. This may even be an early event that leads eventually to methamphetamine-induced apoptosis. However, the source of the reactant species that mediate methamphetamine-induced damage is not known.


Due to their crucial roles they play in mediating the mediating damage to the nervous system, Microglia has attracted considerable attention. Immune like in many ways  these interesting cells become activated by damage and then transmigrate to sites of injury where they can secrete an array of factors  like cytokines, prostaglandins, nitric oxide, and superoxide that are known to have detrimental effects on neurons. However, the role of microglia in methamphetamine-induced damage to the dopamine system has received little attention. In 1994 a researcher, Bowyer and his colleagues noted for the first time that methamphetamine resulted in activation of microglia in striatum of treated rats. These investigators concluded that microglia were increased in response to nerve ending damage and were not apparently a cause of it.  Recently, another research was conducted to give an in-depth analysis of the effect of methamphetamine on striatal gene expression. Numerous genes linked to microglia were activated significantly within hours of methamphetamine intoxication, suggesting the possibility that microglial activation occurs earlier in the methamphetamine toxic cascade than previously thought.

Today there are researchers who are building on the initial analysis of methamphetamine and report the pharmacological characterization of microglial activation by methamphetamine in striatum. As mentioned before, striatum is an area dense in dopamine nerve endings and is known to be targeted for damage by methamphetamine. Microglial activation coincides with the onset of methamphetamine-induced damage in striatum and the extent of this effect is related to the degree of damage to dopamine nerve endings. Numerous nontoxic effects exerted by methamphetamine, such as inhibition of the DAT, increases in synaptic levels of dopamine, activation of D1 and/or D2 DA receptors, and hyperthermia, cannot explain methamphetamine-induced microglial activation.

Finally, this is still a dark area and there is need for more literature so as to establish the mechanism of methamphetamine toxicity on the striatum. Needless to say, Drug abuse, addiction and independence are problems that people grapple with every day. These problems need to be treated effectively through integrative medicine. Dr. Dalal Akoury (MD) is an expert at this.  Call her on (843) 213-1480 for help.

Methamphetamine Toxicity in the Striatum



Molecular Mechanisms of Methamphetamine Induced-Neurotoxicity

Methamphetamine is a stimulant that is also highly soluble in water and affects the CNS most. Categorically it fits in the group of synthetic drugs chemically related to amphetamine but it has more adverse effects on the Central nervous system than the parent compound. Abuse of these illegal psychostimulants has become an international public health problem, with an estimated 14 to 52 million amphetamine-type stimulant users worldwide, exceeding the total number of cocaine abusers and second only to the number of cannabis abusers. This number has continued to rise in spite of the fact that much has been done to publicize the adverse effects these amphetamine related stimulants are linked to. Meth or speed as known in stimulant use circles exists in different forms like powder, tablets and capsules. It can also be found in a purer crystalline form.

It’s dangerous why is it used?

Just like most stimulants or drugs that are known to induce euphoric feelings, methamphetamine is also taken for similar reasons for example; to induce euphoric feelings, increased sense of well-being, increase energy and to calm anxiety. Being a powerful drug its effects are felt immediately after the use but these effects can last for long hours. They may be accompanied by acute adverse effects such as increased blood pressure and heart rate, which may cause irreversible damage to blood vessels in the brain, resulting in cerebrovascular accidents, stroke, and death. Methamphetamine also produces hyperthermia, pupil dilation, flushing, tremors, trismus and bruxism, muscle tension, loss of appetite or anorexia, and loss of pleasure in food intake which further leads to deterioration of the user’s health.


Effects of Methamphetamine

Being an addictive drug, after a prolonged use the users may develop tolerance. It’s most common symptoms after a prolonged use include; temporomandibular joint syndrome, dental erosion, and myofacial pain. Long-term use also produces lack of appetite, weight loss, accelerated aging, nose-bleeding problems, nonhealing wounds, tooth decay and fracture known as “Meth mouth”. Psychiatric symptoms include anxiety, depression, increased aggression, social isolation, psychosis, mood disturbances, and psychomotor dysfunction. Long periods of high consumption can cause paranoid psychosis. Other symptoms of chronic methamphetamine use may also include; deficits in attention, working memory, and decision making. Most addicts are stuck in the use of meth as a result of the withdrawal symptoms which include the following; irritability, fatigue, impaired social functioning, and intense craving for the drug. Researchers have given evidence that the negative neuropsychiatric consequences of methamphetamine abuse are due, at least in part, to drug-induced neuropathological changes in the brain. Although the exact molecular mechanisms of neuronal body loss are not known, there is evidence to suggest the coexistence of different types of cell death, including apoptosis and necrosis ; indicated by the morphology of neurons stained with hematoxylin-eosin.  Growing evidence exhibits that methamphetamine and MDMA induce an increase in lipid peroxidation and DNA oxidation as well as increased levels of oxidative stress markers such as hydroxyl radical producing neurotoxicity. Methamphetamine increases expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase (nNOS)/ neuronal nitric oxide synthase (iNOS ) indicating increased synthesis of neuronal nitric oxide, which combines with superoxide radicals to form peroxynitrite which is a strong oxidant and a major neurotoxin . Induction of nNOS/iNOS by methamphetamine or MDMA  constitutes part of the mechanism of methamphetamine damage, as selective inhibition or genetic inactivation of nNOS and overexpression of cupper zinc superoxide dismutase (CuZnSOD), an enzyme that catalyzes the dismutation of superoxide into oxygen and hydrogen peroxide, prevent methamphetamine neurotoxicity . Even though methamphetamine increases iNOS expression in the striatum , there is no basis for supposing the involvement of glial nitric oxide in methamphetamine-induced toxicity, but it is interesting to note that mice deficient in iNOS have increased resistance to methamphetamine-induced dopamine neuron damage.


The neurotoxic effects of methamphetamine on the dopaminergic system are accompanied by activation of astroglia and microglia in the same areas  being strongest in the striatum, the area with biggest toxicity. Glial cells are not activated in the nucleus accumbens, which is not much damaged . In mice, glial activation in striatum and in substantia nigra occurs shortly after methamphetamine administration, as indicated by a significant increase in Mac-1 ;a marker of reactive microglia 24 hours after methamphetamine exposure and prominent increases in GFAP ; a marker of reactive gliosis in response to injury occur within a week  after treatment . The extent of these glial reactions correlates with the observed severity of neurotoxicity.

The dopaminergic system is also involved in this toxicity, as demonstrated in various mutant mice in which inactivation of dopamine transport, dopamine D1 receptors or D2 receptors affords a significant protection against methamphetamine toxicity. Administration of THC prevents dopaminergic toxicity after MDMA, a similar amphetamine derivative to methamphetamine, by CB1 receptor stimulation which is present in striatal medium spiny neurons. All these receptors are involved in different aspects of learning processes that became affected by the chronic use of methamphetamine or MDMA.

Finally, Drug abuse, addiction and independence are problems that people grapple with every day. These problems need to be treated effectively through integrative medicine. Dr. Dalal Akoury (MD) is an expert at this.  Call her on (843) 213-1480 for help.

Molecular Mechanisms of Methamphetamine Induced-Neurotoxicity


THC on Neurodevelopment of Fetuses

Long Term of THC on Neurodevelopment of Fetuses

The most vulnerable state in a woman’s life is during pregnancy. This is because at this time she not only has one life to take care of but also another young life that is even more vulnerable. This therefore calls for caution. A woman who is pregnant should be wary of what passes through her mouth and proceeds right into her body. This is because whatever she eats can either make her gestation period and life after a healthy affair or a nightmare. More often than note the life behaviors of a pregnant mother impacts on the life of the foetus as well and therefore it is important for a pregnant woman to distance herself from all drugs and other risky life choices that may impact negatively on the life of her offspring. Just as good nutrition and clinical visits are emphasized to pregnant women it is also good to encourage these women to stay away from harmful drugs like cocaine, bhang and even alcohol. Unfortunately pregnant women have not seen the need to quit indulging in these risky behaviors even when they are expectant. If current research findings are to be believed, about 4% of women in the USA use illicit drugs while pregnant. Seventy five percent of these cases report the use of marijuana. Despite the widespread use of this product, the public is not aware of the potential neurobehavioral effects of this drug on the fetus or the newborn infant. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the most effective compound found in cannabis sativa. Unfortunately it is effective for all the wrong reasons as it affects the neurodevelopment in fetus and newborn infants. Needless to say it has been used in few doses to avoid nausea and vomit in cancer patients. It has also been used to increase appetite in patients but when used for non medical reasons nothing good can come out of this compound.


Effects of cannabis during pregnancy

Recent studies have proved that children who are exposed to marijuana prenatally encounter such problems as social and cognitive disturbances. One of these study suggested exposing children to heavy marijuana use prenatally increased the risk of giving birth to low weight babies and the reduced head circumference in teenagers is a proof to this argument. It is also exposing fetus to heavy marijuana use prenatally increased the risk of childhood leukemia. Exposing fetus to heavy use of marijuana prenatally also resulted in both long term and short term memory loss. Even as the infants grow into youths they become very poor in judgmental skills and mostly become very slow in learning and adopting new ideas.

In another study, 42 postmortem fetal brain samples from pregnant women at mid gestation (between 18 – 22 weeks old) who voluntarily underwent saline induced abortion, a decrease in dopamine receptor (D2) mRNA expression in amygdala with significant prevalence in male fetuses. 7 Extensive marijuana exposure in utero was associated with the lowest reported mRNA levels. However this study did not show whether this change is transient or permanent but still it was able to prove that exposure to heavy use of marijuana resulted in low mRNA levels.

Effects of Cannabis during breast feeding

When a woman continues to use marijuana, the THC compound in it will not quit causing the side effects it is known for to this infant but will still continue to hurt the life of the infant. The compound will not stay in the mother alone but will be passed to the infant when breast feeding since it is secreted in milk. This may cause side effects in the life of the infant as it will be absorbed and retained in the body of the infant. Researchers opine that at the point of intake into the infant the proportions of the dangerous compound in the milk is minimal to cause any clinical problems but it is sufficient enough to cause serious long-term effects in the infant. It may take time but in the end it affects the neurobehavioral functioning of an infant .Infants exposed to marijuana through breast milk will test positive in urine screens for about 2-3 weeks. One study of 16 women indicated decreased plasma levels of prolactin especially in the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle.


THC decreases IQ in children

When you are pregnant but you choose to indulge in using marijuana during your pregnancy be sure to have a child that is not very well upstairs. The exposure of a child to THC prenatally will decrease their Intelligence Quotient. This problem affects the teens as that is the period that they try to accomplish things by themselves. Most of the dangers that THC cause to infants are seen during the teen. They become poor planners which make it rather difficult to keep the pace with their other fellows.

The use of marijuana in pregnant women is a cause for concern everywhere and it is advisable that women should stay away from using marijuana not only for their health but also for the life of their offspring. The effects of marijuana that they absorb in their blood during infancy end up affecting them during their entire lives. THC is a dangerous compound and so women should avoid interacting with it to save their children from long-term neurobehavioral anomalies.

Dr. Dalal Akoury (MD) is an experienced doctor that has helped many cancer patients in their fight against the disease. She is also dedicated to offer help to addiction patients. She founded AWAREmed Health and Wellness Resource Center which is home to many people seeking health breakthrough. Call on her now and learn more on how to fight drug addiction.

Long Term of THC on Neurodevelopment of Fetuses