Tuesday, March 3, 2015

The Ravaged Meth Face

 meth faces
The take home is dead simple.  Meth produces accelerated aging and we do not know how to stop it.
Scientists have clearly established the single chemical pathway.  
That begs the next question.  Just why would any sane person start using a drug that rapidly ages you.  That is really how bizarre it is.  It is one thing to risk death, but attacking the center of personal self esteem is difficult to rationalize.  Perhaps advertising just this will kill the market.  There is plenty of other options out there.


Meth Effects: The Ravaged Faces Of Meth Result From Increase In Molecules Causing Cell Death

Feb 11, 2015 05:22 PM By Susan Scutti


By now, most of us have seen the shocking before and after pics of people addicted to methamphetamines. Exactly what is happening inside each cell to cause such striking changes to a person’s face and body? Meth, scientists from the Italian Institute of Technology and UC Irvine say, causes abnormalities in the fat metabolism of cells and this triggers a rise in a type of molecule which promotes cell death. Understanding this, they say they can prevent the drug’s radical effects.

Physical Effects

Users say meth creates a feeling of euphoria along with increased energy and reduced appetite. A psychostimulant, meth is highly addictive despite, or perhaps, because of the fact that it causes profound and long-lasting damage to the brain. Post-mortem studies link the drug to diseases of aging, including coronary atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and pulmonary fibrosis (scar tissue in the lungs). Something is happening at the cellular level to cause these strange physical effects, but what is it?

For the current study, experiments on rats and mice allowed the researchers, in their own words, “to investigate the molecular mechanisms of systemic inflammation and cellular aging related to methamphetamine abuse.” Specifically, they focused on the ways meth induces abnormalities of lipid metabolism in select regions of the brain and peripheral organs and tissues. Through experimentation, the scientists observed how meth accelerated "cellular senescence" — arrested cell growth — and influenced inflammation and other processes of cell regulation.

The chemical cascade caused by meth within each cell involves a specific protein, known as nuclear factor kappa beta. Under healthy conditions, this protein helps regulate other proteins that keep our bodies functioning. However, as each individual cell is overwhelmed by meth-induced signaling, nuclear factor kappa beta begins its own excessive signaling, which triggers a dramatic increase in the production of ceramide. Normally, this lipid molecule regulates energy production and nutrient use within a cell, so when it’s suddenly amplified, every aspect of metabolism speeds up as well.

“We found this signaling process to be key for advanced cellular aging,” Dr. Daniele Piomelli, the Louise Turner Arnold Chair in the Neurosciences at UCI, stated in a press release.

Having identified meth's effects on cells, Piomelli and his co-researchers decided to figure out a possible way to prevent the drug's effects on the body. If we can stop nuclear factor kappa beta, they reasoned, by increasing the body's natural inhibitors of that protein, then we can limit the production of ceramide. This, in turn will prevent the harmful effects of meth —fast-forwarded cell aging and systemic inflammation.

“These results suggest new therapeutic strategies to reduce the adverse consequences of meth abuse and improve the effectiveness of abstinence treatments,” said Piomelli, who is working with colleagues at the Italian Institute of Technology to create new drugs targeting the specific cellular mechanisms identified in this research.

Source: Astarita G, Avanesian A, Grimaldi B, et al. Methamphetamine Accelerates Cellular Senescence through Stimulation of De Novo Ceramide Biosynthesis. PLOS ONE. 2015.

1 comment:

Factotum said...

I have read that a head transplant is being developed. It is to bad that ... well never mind. Arclein and is rants are covered by the Dunning kruger effect.
Let me quote the relevant man himself, the single most productive mathematician in known human history. Keeled over while doing math at the age of 83.

He won a bet when he quit cold turkey for a month.:

Erdős won the bet, but complained that mathematics had been set back by a month:

"Before, when I looked at a piece of blank paper my mind was filled with ideas. Now all I see is a blank piece of paper."

The bet won, he promptly resumed his amphetamine habit."

Drugs, like any inanimate thing, are neither bad nor good. Their value depends on the circumstances and the people involved.

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