[Neuroscience] Chemical access [Was: Re: Appropriate newsgroup?]

Jure Sah jure.sah at guest.arnes.si
Thu Nov 24 11:14:18 EST 2005

r norman wrote:
> This would be a good choice.   Ask away!
> There are a variety of neurobiologists who reside here.  I am more of
> a physiologist, but I am familiar with a reasonable portion of
> neurochemistry.  There are others here more  expert on just that
> subject.

Thanks! Well here it goes:

I've long heard rumors that various drugs cause damage to the membrane 
between the blood and the brain ( 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blood-brain_barrier ).

The idea was that the drug has to pass trough this membrane to get to 
the brain, which isn't normally possible (or is normaly obstructed) so 
in term causing damage to it, increasing the sensitivity of the brain to 
other chemicals and infectious diseases (as well as a possible hormone 
feedback-loop effect, but that possibly wouldn't be quite as observable).

Now I've had some (illegal) drug takers confirm that that must be the 
case since when they first took a drug, a larger dosage was required to 
reach the same effect than after 2 to 4 times later. And while I do 
think they are convinced this is true, that is not to say it actually IS 
true. I'll need a bigger sample size.

I searched the web and only came accross one article describing how it 
COULD be that ecstasy has such an effect (but then again, Google and 
medical archives have never been very good buddys). And now I do not 
know wether the rumors I have heard are based entirely on one or two 
articles like this, or is such an effect, tho perhaps not fully 
scientifically confirmed yet, observable with most drugs.

Also I have no information about how fast is this membrane capable of 
regenerating after suffering possible damage from drugs (now there must 
be SOME drug that does damage it specifcally, just to find this out)... 
Is it weeks? Months? Years? Decades? Does it even occur?

I'm not really muchly into this sort of science (I'm a software 
devoloper by profession), therefore amateur in my knowledge about it 
this far. I'm just really curious.

Looking forward to any answers.

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