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Neurochemical basis of addiction

Neurochemical basis

Neurochemical basis of addiction and addiction treatment systems

Neurochemical basis of addiction: The depleted GABA

For a long time, various forms of addictions have been taken to be just as a result of social problems and sometimes even decisions or choices we make in life. Yes, this may be true but we need to take a moment and look into this problem more critically to find facts about the neurochemical basis of addiction. Doctor Dalal Akoury MD, President, and founder of the AWAREmed health and wellness resource center says that it’s good that modern addiction medicine now recognizes that substance dependency of any kind is a disease process of the brain that features lowered dopamine and glutamate neurotransmitter levels. Importantly, as more legitimate research is done in this field of addiction medicine whose experimental basis is beginning to gain ground, models of neurochemical bases of addiction in the future may also feature lowered levels of GABA as the disease progresses. To understand this neurotransmitter (GABA) it will be necessary that we try to define some of the terms associated with it and appreciate the roles and functions of GABA in totality.

The use of GABA

Because of our unique DNA and the way that each of us metabolizes drugs, each of us may have different amounts of GABA in the brain but we are still considered to be operating “normally.” Unfortunately, there are no accepted medical tests to determine if we have too much or too little GABA activity. It appears that people who are nutritionally deficit and dehydrated often have problems with the operation of GABA in their brains. Since almost all of our patients are nutritionally deficient and dehydrated when they arrive at our facility, we have always implemented the addition of GABA to the IV therapy given to patients. The purpose is to provide a more natural boost to the GABA in the brain and to allow the calming effect of GABA to make the detoxification process more comfortable. Let us now understand how GABA operates by defining these terms.

Neurochemical basis of addiction: The neuron

  • A neuron is another name for a nerve cell.
  • Nerve cells float in the fluid.
  • Each neuron has an axon a thread-like part of the cell that sends signals from the cell body and a dendrite a part of the cell that receives signals from other neurons.
  • The neurons are not touching and the space between the cells is called the synapse.
  • Electrical signals are sent through the synapse to a receptor, a place on a cell that can produce a certain effect like the production of adrenaline if someone is frightened.

Neurochemical basis of addiction: The central nervous system (CNS)

  • The CNS is composed of the brain and the spinal cord.
  • The CNS transmits signals to the rest of the body using chemical messengers called neurotransmitters.
  • Neurotransmitters are stored in vesicles—hollow sac-like structures inside the cells.
  • These neurotransmitters carry a message from a neuron to receptors on another neuron.
  • The action of the neurotransmitters on the receptors has been likened to a key being inserted in a lock.
  • When the key is turned the lock opens and the neurotransmitters activate the receptors which in turn create an effect in the body.
  • Then many of the neurotransmitters return to the releasing vesicles to be used again.

Finally, you can always talk to us by calling doctor Akoury on telephone number 843 213 1480 to help you with any concerns you may have.

Neurochemical basis of addiction: The depleted GABA

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motor neuron cells

Brain communication network flows

Brain communication n

Brain communication network flows must not be interfered with at all cost.

Brain communication network flows: Understanding how drugs affect the brain

Before we can get to know how drugs affect the brain, it is important that we appreciate the brain communication network flows. Alcohol and drug abuse impacts on the brains health badly. Being a complex communication network of numerous neurons also known as nerve cells, doctor Dalal Akoury a veteran addiction expert explains that, in just a minute, the neurons can pass tones and tones of communication within the brain. Spinal column and the nerves. That is to say, the nerve network coordinates everything in the body system. According to the experts from AWAREmed Health and Wellness Resource Center which is an addiction treatment facility established by doctor Dalal Akoury, for us to understand brain communication network flows well, understanding the functions of these networks is very essential. Like for instance:

Brain communication network flows: Neurons

It will interest you to note that the human brain contains not less than100 billion neurons nerve cells working continuously remitting and receiving message signals. The flow is in way that within a neuron, communications flows from the cell body down the axon through the axon terminal in the form of electrical impulses. The information is then sent to other neurons with the help of neurotransmitters. This flow needs the brain to be in good health without any impurities inform of drugs says doctor Akoury. As we progress into the discussion, drugs kills the brain and therefore, if you or any one you know is struggling with drug addiction, your brain communication network flows will be in effective and action needs to be taken immediately. You can talk to doctor Akoury today on telephone number 843 213 1480 for further direction.

Neurotransmitters
These are the brain chemical envoys or messengers that enables information to move from one neuron to another by creating chemical messengers known as neurotransmitters. From this point the axon terminal releases neurotransmitters that travel across the space also known as the synapse to nearby neurons. Then the transmitter attaches to receptors on the nearby neuron.

Receptors

These are brains chemical recipients/receivers whereby when the neurotransmitter approaches the nearby neuron, it attaches it to a special site on that neuron known as a receptor. For clarity, a neurotransmitter and its receptor functions the same way a key and lock operates. That is to say, a very specific mechanism makes sure that each receptor will forward the right message only after interacting with the right kind of neurotransmitter.

Transporters

The moment the neurotransmitters do their job, they are pulled back into their original neuron by transporters. This recycling process shuts off the signal between the neurons.

Finally four networks are very essential in the proper functionality of the brain. Any attack on their well-being by way of alcohol and drug abuse immediately disrupts the brain communication network flows. You can make a decision now to keep a healthy brain by scheduling for an appointment with doctor Akoury for the commencement of your recovery process today.

Brain communication network flows: Understanding how drugs affect the brain

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Addiction chemical alteration to the brains functions

Addiction chemical alteration

Addiction chemical alteration to the brains functions a great danger for health

Addiction chemical alteration to the brains functions: The brains communication system

New neural pathways are formed as addiction develops. This is because addiction chemical alteration to the brain’s communication system takes effect with such intoxications. In other words when you take drugs away, the brain will revert again to form new neural pathways. Neuroplasticity explains why the initial period of recovery is difficult and uncomfortable. But the good news is that, this difficulty is only temporal. Speaking to the experts at AWAREmed Health and Wellness Resource Center about addiction chemical alteration, doctor Akoury MD registers that this piece of information is very helpful to especially when attempting recovery. From our previous illustration where a tree fell on the usual path way and so you needed to navigate to get through, some difficulties could be experience. In the same way when undertaking the recovery journey in addiction treatment, it can be difficult and uncomfortable while these new neural pathways are forming. As long as the recovering person does not give up during this initial period of discomfort, new neural pathways will form that support recovery. These new pathways will become more established and better developed over time. As they do, recovery becomes easier and more comfortable thereby defeating any addiction chemical alteration to the functions of the brain.

Addiction chemical alteration to the brains functions: Effects of addictive substances on the brain

Going by the facts mentioned above about the adaptive and the dynamic qualities of our brains to ensure our survival, I want to be persuaded that you are now somewhere as far as keeping your brain healthy. The next point I want to raise on how addiction changes the brains communication pathways may be quite unfortunate. Why do I say so, it is because the brain’s ability to be so adaptive is also at the root of addiction. Doctor Akoury says that the brain has the ability to adapt not only to the harmless substances and activities but also to the strong effects of addictive drugs and activities. And when it does, there will be damaging changes happening in the brain regions which are associated with reward including the memory and emotion, decision-making and stress regulations. These changes to our brain make the repeated use of addictive substances or activities very compelling. The good news is that our brains’ neuroplasticity allows us to correct these changes! Therefore, although addiction chemical alteration leads to structural changes in the brain, we are capable of learning new coping skills. The brain’s plasticity allows these new coping skills to be imprinted.

Finally we will be discussing these structural changes in the next series of articles and we want to urge you not to go away but to stay with us on the link and where possible invite a friend too. In the meantime having such powerful information about the most sensitive organ in your body the brain is very helpful in keeping you healthy. I am saying so because when you know, you will not do things that will cause harm to your health, and if you have already caused an injury, then you can take measures to remedy the situation by scheduling for an appointment with doctor Dalal Akoury to professionally take your through the recovery treatment process today.

Addiction chemical alteration to the brains functions: The brains communication system

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What Causes Neurodegenerative Changes

What Causes Neurodegenerative Changes

Neurodegeneration is a medical condition of the nerve system that generally refers to a gradual loss of neurons. It is a condition of damage to the nerve cells both in structure and functionality. Neurodegeneration changes also used to refer to the death of nerve cells. It is an age related condition of the brain. Neurodegeneration is however a blanket terminology. It involves several disorders. Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), Corticobasal Degeneration (CBD), HIV-related cognitive impairment, and Huntington Disease (HD) are just but a few.

  1. Alzheimer’s Disease (AD)

This is degenerative brain condition that gradually erodes memory. Alzheimer’s disease AD distorts one’s ability to think clearly. It is characterized by progressive failure to solve simple numerical problems and inability to perform simple tasks. AD is reportedly the root cause of dementia. Based on several research findings, AD accounts to close to 70 percent of all cases of the brain disease. AD is one of the neurodegenerative changes that increase exponentially with age. It is even reported the number of Americans with the AD condition stands at well over 5.1 million. For an in-depth explanation of the disease please click on www.awaremednetwork.com.

AD is a genetically inherited condition. Chances of inheriting the disease are however minimal, at a low of 5% or less. Signs of the disease often begin to show at an age, 65. However there are forms of AD that can indicate early signs at as low as age 30. Early-onset Familial Alzheimer’s Disease (EOFAD) is one such. There are genetic materials that can increase or reduce proneness of a person to the disease but do not necessarily cause it. You may call up Dr. Dalal Akoury of integrative Addiction Institute and International Organization of Integrative Cancer Physicians for incisive information on genetic composition of AD and its transmission through generations.

nerve degeneration

Naturally the first sign of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) is loss of memory especially about recent events. Memory lapses may also occur however not profound. An example of a person suffering early signs of these neurodegenerative changes is one asking the same thing over and over, even when that same question has been properly answered in recent prior conversations. While at home they struggle to find such small items like handkerchiefs or wallets. Ever wondered why some people constantly leave foods on the cooker? AD victims are actually worse in the kitchen. Their foods always burn. The disease often progresses from mild AD, Moderate AD to advanced stages of the Neurodenerative changes of Severe Alzheimer’s Disease. Eee…very crazy, I guess many of us are victims. This is why you must sign up for this year’s August integrative addiction medicine conferences. Click on http://www.integrativeaddiction2015.com for more information.

  1. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)

This is a degenerative brain condition that often affects the motor neurons in adults. It is one of the most common forms of neurodegenerative changes in the U.S. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) often causes a discerned loss of neurons that normally connects the brain to the muscles. It affects both the dorsal superior motor neurons and the lower inferior neurons of the spinal cord in the rest of the body. This condition is well very popular in the U.S. according to population studies, the figures stand at an astonishing 5600 patients each calendar year, with well over 15 new victims every single day. Men are reportedly 20% more prone to this type of degenerative change compared to women. You may click on www.awaremednetwork.com to further research on ALS and the other neurodegenerative changes. Dr. Akoury will be of great assistance too in understanding genetic composition and transmission of the ALS.

Basic symptom of ALS involves a feeling of weakness in the arms. Other symptoms include clumsiness, stiffness, and slowness. Muscles in the said organs often become smaller as the disease progresses. Other symptoms; cramping and twitching even though are common in much healthier people, tend to be profound when one is nursing ALS. It is for the same reasons the degenerative change is normally ignored in its primary stages. ALS does not uniformly progress from one stage to the other in every victim. The disease is however worse at an advanced stage, paralysis. There are not specific laboratory tests to ALS however low co-ordination between the fine motor neurons always serves a good one. Again, there are various professionals attending this year’s August integrative addiction medicine conference, catch some of them via the above link. The speakers are carefully selected to handle a number of subjects across a wider array of medical problems you might be interested in knowing treatment of such neurodegenerative changes.

  1. Corticobasal Degeneration (CBD)

CBD is sometimes called Corticobasal ganglionic degeneration (CBGD). Clinically, It is similar FrontoTemporal Dementia (FTD). Just like the AD above, CBD is also characterized by loss of neurons and contraction of certain parts of the brain among them; the basal ganglia and the cerebral cortex. The disease is more often diagnosed in patients within the age brackets of 45 and 70. CBD is hardly genetically transmitted down the generations. The symptoms vary from locomotive difficulties to cognitive discrepancies. They are usually very unique. It is therefore advisable to refer suspected patients to a practitioner with good experience with the disorder. Consistent advances in scientific studies and research have led to a better understanding of CBD among other neurodegenerative changes hence improved medical care and therapeutic interventions.

NEURODEGENERATIVE changes

  1. Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD)

This is a cluster of related neurodegenerative changes resulting from progressive deterioration of the temporary and font lobes of the human brain. In a case similar to that of AD, FTD greatly affects decision making, emotional control, speech and general behavior of the patient.

Frontotemporal dementia is a cluster of related conditions resulting from the progressive degeneration of the temporal and frontal lobes of the brain. These areas of the brain play a significant role in decision-making, behavioral control, emotion and language.

  1. HIV-related Cognitive Impairment

Thanks to antiretroviral interventions, effects of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) on the nervous system have declined. Few cases however still exist. HIV- related impairments can be broadly categorized into Asymptomatic neurocognitive impairments, mild neurocognitive disorder, and HIV-associated dementia (HAD). The first two categories barely have any visible symptoms. However the third category, HAD has from time to time indicated severe effect on the victims both clinically and on their daily life activities. As earlier mentioned, cases of HAD are however rare. The other form of neurodegenerative change is the Huntington Disease (HD), which affects the underlying neurons of the brain. You may visit any of the above links for more information on HD and the other neurodegenerative changes. Once again click http://www.integrativeaddiction2015.com for your chance to participate in the integrative addiction medicine conference mentioned earlier.

Neurodegenerative Changes

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Addiction: A Neuroplasticity Disease

Addiction: A Neuroplasticity Disease

Had an accident or stroke? Developed amnesia? Lost consciousness for some reason? Well maybe not you. You may be wondering however how a friend or neighbor is recovering from such incidences of short or long term memory losses. Well thanks to technology now we know the brain has a way to self-regenerate in its functions through a process called neuroplasticity.

Neuroplasticity and Addiction Defined

Neuroplasticity is the brain’s ability to adjust to new environments or needs by developing new nerve cells throughout the body. it is the brain’s way of recovery. neuroplasticity allows the cells to compensate for any injuries or diseases in the nerve system. It also allows the neurons reorganize themselves to perform new functions of the brain depending on changes in their working environment.

One of the most common mechanisms in neuroplasticity is axonal sprouting. This is the process whereby active axons develop new nerve endings to connect with those their links were severed. Inversely, the damaged one can also grow new nerve endings to reconnect to the active neurons. Neuroplasticity is a term derived from the words; “neuron” and “plasticity”. A neuron is a nerve cell of the brain. Plasticity on the other hand means ability to remold. The process is at times referred to as brain malleability. Other times it is simply called brain plasticity.

Addiction on the other hand is an intricate condition of the brain, usually categorized as a disease that involves reward and motivation cerebral systems structurally and chemically altered. It is a mental condition characterized by a compulsive urge to indulge in rewarding stimuli despite possible dire consequences. Addiction is both reinforcing and rewarding. It manifests itself in the form of repetitive, intrinsic behavior including; gambling, food, exercises, shopping and substance abuse.

neuroplasticity

Influence of Neuroplasticity on Addiction

At one time Aristotle said: “We are what we repeatedly do.” Even though the Greek coined the phrase in the context to advice his readers of making a habit of excellence, the great philosopher had his brain develop a pathway around his successes over time. See, that is what the brain does. It creates a path of neurons to support our habits. A weight lifter for instance develops stronger muscles as a result of repetitive action. Similarly the brain may develop a path around addiction.

Once such pathways are created, addiction takes control of the brain. Eventually the addiction becomes the only thing that matters to the addict. Once the addiction hijacks the brain’s centers of pleasure it becomes the only thing that brings the addict a sense of joy or happiness. Soon his/her brain recognizes more of the addiction and less of other socio economic aspects of life including: friends, relatives, family, responsibilities, and work among other normal forms of social interactions and activities.

Neuroplasticity on Addiction Treatment

For a long time detoxification has been used as a treatment mechanism against addiction. This is the removal of the substance of abuse from the body. Victims however fell back on to substance abuse shortly afterwards. The billion dollar question then was how this still happened sometimes way after the victim’s blood had been cleaned of the same. This was one very interesting aspect of scientific state of quandary.

It is however through neuroplasticity scientists discovered treatment of an addiction needed more than mere detoxification. The brain actually needed to be retrained back to its normal functions. It required an intensive psychotherapy among other medical interventions to remold the recovery process. Also, it required an intense psychotherapy to reconfigure the brain’s recognition of what initially seemed normal and of the person as a whole especially in terms of behavior change. The nerve cells needed to rebuild a connection along initial, rather former normal pathways.

neuroplasticity

Neuroplasticity and Drug Abstinence

The process, neuroplasticity however does not take away the addictive neuron pathways like probably in the case of severe brain damage usually by accidents. It only retrains the brain to develop new ones along the old clean pathways. It is therefore often advisable to abstain from drugs completely during recovery. This is so as to avoid reinforcing the addictive path.

It is the same case each time you reread your favorite novel. You might have read it last twenty years ago. And you could have forgotten a few characters already. However if you picked that same book today you would remember a lot more, the story would begin to unfold in your sub conscience mind even without rereading the whole story yet again. You would remember the chapters more clearly, vividly the characters, deeply their roles and or attributes without going into it a whole other time.

Relationship between neuroplasticity and addiction is not a simple support of addictive habit and recovery alone. It is an inter-disciplinary connection of varied other fields; computer technology, anthropology, and psychology among others. Want to learn more on this? This year’s August integrative addiction medicine conferences could just be the answer you are looking for. Click on: http://www.integrativeaddiction2015.com and sign up for the upcoming event where you will have a chance to meet various medical experts, and listen to speakers on the neuroplasticity and integrative addiction recovery.

Addiction: A Neuroplasticity Disease

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