COCAINE MAY SPEED UP BRAIN AGEING - RESEARCH
- A new research has found finds that people who are addicted to cocaine lose twice the brain volume each year as non-drug users, Fox News reported.
As the brain ages, it inevitably loses gray matter, the part of brain tissue made up of neuron cell bodies. Loss of gray matter is linked with many of the signs of old age, including memory problems and other declining cognitive abilities, said study researcher Karen Ersche, a neuroscientist at the University of Cambridge.
Middle-age cocaine-dependent people show many of the signs of aging, including cognitive decline, Ersche told LiveScience. To look at the underlying cause, she and her colleagues used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to measure gray matter volume in 60 adults with cocaine dependence and 60 adults without substance-use troubles who were similar to the cocaine-abusing volunteers in age, gender and verbal IQ.
They found that cocaine-dependent adults showed twice the gray matter loss as their healthy counterparts: 3.08 milliliters per year in cocaine users versus 1.69 milliliters per year in people without substance abuse.
The results held true even after those cocaine users who were also alcohol-addicted (16 individuals) were removed from the analysis, pointing to the drug as a cause. Although it's not possible to experiment on the human brain, animal studies suggest that cocaine-related brain atrophy may be related to oxidative stress, Ersche said. Oxidative stress is caused by the production of unstable molecules called reactive oxygen species; when the body can't remove these molecules or repair the damage they cause, disease can result.
"We have a growing number of older people seeking treatment for drug problems," Ersche said. "The Baby Boomer generation is a generation that has used more drugs than any generation before them, so they actually may suffer from an accelerated aging process, and we need to take this into account when we provide treatment."
- 1879 Death of Stepanos Nazaryan (public figure) in Moscow (Russia). He published the "Hyusisapail" (Aurora Borealis) monthly.
- 1904 The great battle of Semal (the Sassoon rebellion) took place under the leadership of General Andraneek. Hrair (Armenak Ghazarian) was killed in the fighting. He was born in 1864.
- 1920 Death of Vrtanes Papazyan (writer) in Yerevan. He was born in 1866.
- 1921 The "Self-government of Syunik" is re-organized by the Dashnaks, as the "Government of Mountainous Armenia".
- 1953 Completion of the first stage of construction of the Gyumush hydroelectric power station.