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Michael J Zvolensky, Andrew H Rogers, Kara Manning, Julianna B D Hogan, Daniel J Paulus, Julia D Buckner, Nubia A Mayorga, Gerald Hallford, Norman B Schmidt
Cannabis is among the most widely used psychoactive substances in the United States, and rates of cannabis use and cannabis-related problems are increasing. Anxiety sensitivity, or the fear of aversive interoceptive sensations, may be relevant to better understanding cannabis use problems and other significant cannabis use processes (e.g., beliefs about quitting). Previous research has primarily focused on the global anxiety sensitivity construct; however, anxiety sensitivity lower-order facets (Cognitive Concerns, Physical Concerns, and Social Concerns) tend to be differentially related to substance use processes in non-cannabis specific studies...
March 5, 2018: Psychiatry Research
Igam Bagra, Vijay Krishnan, Ravindra Rao, Alok Agrawal
OBJECTIVES: Use of various psychoactive substances can influence outcomes of patients on opioid agonist treatment (OAT). While use of alcohol and cocaine has shown to adversely affect OAT results, associated cannabis use shows mixed results. This study aimed to assess the pattern of cannabis use among opioid-dependent patients maintained on buprenorphine. Additionally, the study compared the dose of buprenorphine, opioid-related craving and withdrawals, productivity, and also quality of life between those with and without recent (past 90-day) cannabis use...
March 14, 2018: Journal of Addiction Medicine
Sebastian V Nielsen, Martin Kellner, Per G Henriksen, Håkan Olsén, Steen H Hansen, Erik Baatrup
Selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors are pharmaceuticals used to treat a range of psychological disorders. They are frequently found in surface waters in populated areas. In recent years, they have been shown to affect the behaviour of various aquatic organisms in a way that can have ecological effects. In this study, we exposed zebrafish of both sexes to nominally 0.00, 0.15 and 1.50 µg L-1 Escitalopram in flow-through tanks for three weeks. Subsequently, ten swimming behaviour parameters were quantified using high-resolution video tracking...
March 14, 2018: Ecotoxicology
Leandro Nóbrega, Ricardo Jorge Dinis-Oliveira
New psychoactive substances (NPS), often referred as 'legal highs' or 'designer drugs', are derivatives and analogs of existing psychoactive drugs that are introduced in the recreational market to circumvent existing legislation on drugs of abuse. This work aims to review the state-of-the-art regarding chemical, molecular pharmacology, and in vitro and in vivo data on toxicokinetics of the potent synthetic cathinone α-pyrrolidinovalerophenone (α-PVP or flakka or zombie drug). Chemical, pharmacological, toxicological, and clinical effects of α-PVP were searched in PubMed (U...
March 14, 2018: Drug Metabolism Reviews
Philippe A Melas, Johanna S Qvist, Matteo Deidda, Chirag Upreti, Ya Bin Wei, Fabrizio Sanna, Walter Fratta, Maria Scherma, Paola Fadda, Denise B Kandel, Eric R Kandel
Reduced eukaryotic Initiation Factor 2 (eIF2)α phosphorylation (p-eIF2α) enhances protein synthesis, memory formation, and addiction-like behaviors. However, p-eIF2α has not been examined with regard to psychoactive cannabinoids and cross-sensitization. Here, we find that a cannabinoid receptor agonist (WIN 55,212-2 mesylate [WIN]) reduced p-eIF2α in vitro by upregulating GADD34 (PPP1R15A), the recruiter of protein phosphatase 1 (PP1). The induction of GADD34 was linked to ERK/CREB signaling and to CREB-binding protein (CBP)-mediated histone hyperacetylation at the Gadd34 locus...
March 13, 2018: Cell Reports
Xiaochen Wang, Zhendong Hua, Zhaoguang Yang, Haipu Li, Huwei Liu, Bo Qiu, Honggang Nie
RATIONALE: Owing to the widespread abuse of new psychoactive substances (NPSs), developing a rapid, easily operable method to detect NPSs in oral fluid is of high priority. Easy collection and non-invasive nature make oral fluid samples suitable for on-site tests and forensic cases. Herein we report a rapid and sensitive method to screen and quantitate 11 new NPSs in oral fluid. METHOD: A low temperature plasma probe mass spectrometry (LTP-MS) was applied and to improve the signal intensity, thermally assisted desorption was employed...
March 14, 2018: Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry: RCM
Juan Andrés Abin-Carriquiry, Marcela Martínez-Busi, Martín Galvalisi, Manuel Minteguiaga, José Pedro Prieto, María Cecilia Scorza
Adulteration is a common practice in the illicit drugs market, but the psychoactive and toxic effects provided by adulterants are clinically underestimated. Coca-paste (CP) is a smokable form of cocaine which has an extremely high abuse liability. CP seized samples are sold adulterated; however, qualitative and quantitative data of CP adulteration in forensic literature is still scarce. Besides, it is unknown if adulterants remain stable when CP is heated. This study was designed to report the chemical content of an extensive series of CP seized samples and to demonstrate the stability (i...
March 13, 2018: Neurotoxicity Research
Joshua S Elmore, Michael H Baumann
Naphthalen-1-yl-(1-pentylindol-3-yl)methanone (JWH-018) is a synthetic compound found in psychoactive "spice" products that activates cannabinoid receptors. Preclinical evidence suggests that exposure to synthetic cannabinoids increases 5-HT2A/2C receptor function in the brain, an effect which might contribute to psychotic symptoms. Here, we hypothesized that repeated exposures to JWH-018 would enhance behavioral responsiveness to the 5-HT2A/2C receptor agonist DOI. Male Sprague-Dawley rats fitted with subcutaneously (sc) temperature transponders received daily injections of JWH-018 (1...
2018: Frontiers in Psychiatry
Loretta Theresa Ford, Jonathan David Berg
Novel psychotropic substances (NPS) also known as legal highs are a major concern in UK prisons, fuelling violence and putting a strain on resources for inmates requiring medical treatment for adverse effects. We provide a clinical toxicology service including routine screening for NPS. In 2015 we were approached by Her Majesty Prison Service (HMPS) search dog training team to advise on which NPS to target, and again in 2016 to further provide analytical support to test five letters which the dogs positively identified for NPS during routine searches of prison mail rooms...
January 1, 2018: Annals of Clinical Biochemistry
Shenglong Zou, Ujendra Kumar
The biological effects of cannabinoids, the major constituents of the ancient medicinal plant Cannabis sativa (marijuana) are mediated by two members of the G-protein coupled receptor family, cannabinoid receptors 1 (CB1R) and 2. The CB1R is the prominent subtype in the central nervous system (CNS) and has drawn great attention as a potential therapeutic avenue in several pathological conditions, including neuropsychological disorders and neurodegenerative diseases. Furthermore, cannabinoids also modulate signal transduction pathways and exert profound effects at peripheral sites...
March 13, 2018: International Journal of Molecular Sciences
Andrew C Parrott
Many novel psychoactive substances (NPS) have entered the recreational drug scene in recent years, yet the problems they cause are similar to those found with established drugs. This article will debate the psychobiological effects of these newer and more traditional substances. It will show how they disrupt the same core psychobiological functions, so damaging well-being in similar ways. Every psychoactive drug causes mood states to fluctuate. Users feel better on-drug, then feel worse off-drug. The strength of these mood fluctuations is closely related to their addiction potential...
March 13, 2018: Brain Sciences
Elliot B Tapper, Neehar D Parikh, Akbar K Waljee, Michael Volk, Noelle E Carlozzi, Anna S-F Lok
OBJECTIVES: Minimal hepatic encephalopathy (HE) is common, characterized by deficits in reaction time and executive function, and strongly associated with disability and mortality. Point-of-care diagnostics performed without specialized skills or equipment are now available, albeit with limited data regarding their generalizability. METHODS: We systematically reviewed MEDLINE, EMBASE, Cochrane Library, and Scopus for diagnostic studies of MHE using broad search terms including HE and minimal, covert, or the names of published diagnostic modalities...
March 13, 2018: American Journal of Gastroenterology
Elon Richman, Nathan J Skoller, Bernice Fokum, Brandi A Burke, Chelsea A Hickerson, Robert O Cotes
: Synthetic cathinones are a class of novel psychoactive substances. α-Pyrrolidinopentiophenone (α-PVP), or "Flakka", is one of these substances. Users often present acutely psychotic or agitated. We present the case of a 20-year-old male without prior psychiatric history who was brought to the hospital by his family because of increasingly bizarre and erratic behavior after reported ingestion of Flakka. What ensued was a prolonged course of psychosis and severe catatonia. Synthetic cathinones are thought to cause catatonia in approximately 1% of cases...
March 12, 2018: Journal of Addiction Medicine
Torben Breindahl, Peter Hindersson, Peter Derek-Christian Leutscher, Andreas Kimergård
The emergence of an increasing number of new psychoactive substances (NPS) on the drug market requires a paradigm shift in drug testing. Immunoassay screening needs to be replaced with highly specific and sensitive analytical methods based on chromatography and mass spectrometry to produce accurate results, promote health and patient safety and collect data on the prevalence of NPS use, impact on public health and clinical aspects of NPS in Denmark. Development and implementation of new analytical methods currently present a major challenge for both clinical and forensic laboratories...
March 12, 2018: Ugeskrift for Laeger
Anders Helander, Katarina Stojanovic, Tomas Villén, Olof Beck
In recent time, structural variants of fentanyl ("designer fentanyls") have appeared on the recreational drug market for new psychoactive substances (NPS). These potent opioids have caused harmful intoxications and increased opioid related mortality in many countries. This work evaluated three commercial immunoassays for fentanyl screening in urine, and investigated whether they are useful also for screening of designer fentanyls. The assays examined were the Thermo DRI® Fentanyl Enzyme Immunoassay, the ARK™ Fentanyl Assay homogeneous enzyme immunoassay, and the Immunalysis® Fentanyl Urine SEFRIA™ Drug Screening Kit...
March 12, 2018: Drug Testing and Analysis
Marta Rychert, Chris Wilkins
BACKGROUND: In July 2013 New Zealand passed the Psychoactive Substances Act (PSA) to establish the world's first regulated legal market for new psychoactive substances (NPS) ("legal highs"). AIM: To critically analyse the implementation of the PSA. METHODS: Synthesis of findings from interviews with 30 key informants (i.e. politicians, civil servants, legal high industry actors, toxicologists, NGO representatives and drug policy academics), analysis of relevant laws and policy documents, and a review of academic and grey literature on the PSA...
March 7, 2018: International Journal on Drug Policy
Islam Amine Larabi, Marie Martin, Isabelle Etting, Pauline Penot, Nicolas Fabresse, Jean Claude Alvarez
Recently, the emergence of new psychoactive substances (NPS) has led to their wide use among clubbers and men who have sex with men (MSM) for their stimulant effects. However, their use in drug facilitated sexual assault (DFSA) has rarely been described. Herein we report a case of a 44 years-old man who was assaulted after a party. Due to late reporting of the offense, only hair (black) was sampled 15 days later and a segmental analysis was achieved to look for most DFSA agents and NPS. Twenty mg of each segment (A:0-1cm, B:1-3cm and C:3-5cm) were incubated in phosphate buffer pH 5...
March 10, 2018: Drug Testing and Analysis
Amy L Patton, Kathryn A Seely, Azure L Yarbrough, William Fantegrossi, Laura P James, Keith R McCain, Ryoichi Fujiwara, Paul L Prather, Jeffery H Moran, Anna Radominska-Pandya
Synthetic cannabinoids (SCBs), synonymous with 'K2', 'Spice' or 'synthetic marijuana', are psychoactive drugs of abuse that frequently result in clinical effects and toxicity more severe than those classically associated with Δ9 -tetrahydrocannabinol such as extreme agitation, hallucinations, supraventricular tachycardia, syncope, and seizures. JWH-018 is one of the earliest compounds identified in various SCB products, and our laboratory previously demonstrated that JWH-018 undergoes extensive metabolism by cytochromes P450 (P450), binds to, and activates cannabinoid receptors (CBRs)...
March 6, 2018: Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Michele Torrisi, Adriana Piccolo, Rosaria De Luca, Matteo Berenati, Antonella Olivo, Giuseppa Maresca, Antonino Naro, Rocco Salvatore Calabrò
Disorder of consciousness (DOC) can be either an acute and reversible condition or a chronic condition, including vegetative state or minimally conscious state. Herein, we describe a patient who has unexpectedly recovered consciousness after being in a misdiagnosed vegetative state for a long period. A 63-year-old woman was admitted to our rehabilitation center in vegetative state (Coma Recovery Scale-Revised score, 6) and treated with a standard rehabilitation program, including physical therapy and multisensory stimulation, besides psychoactive drugs...
April 2018: Journal of Neuroscience Nursing: Journal of the American Association of Neuroscience Nurses
Shimpei Watanabe, Unnikrishnan Kuzhiumparambil, Shanlin Fu
The number of new psychoactive substances keeps on rising despite the controlling efforts by law enforcement. Although metabolism of the newly emerging drugs is continuously studied to keep up with the new additions, the exact structures of the metabolites are often not identified due to the insufficient sample quantities for techniques such as nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. The aim of the study was to characterise several metabolites of the synthetic cannabinoid (1-pentyl-1H-indol-3-yl) (2,2,3,3-tetramethylcyclopropyl) methanone (UR-144) by NMR spectroscopy after the incubation with the fungus Cunninghamella elegans...
March 8, 2018: AAPS Journal
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