Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Neuroimaging technique captures cocaine's devastating effect on brain blood flow

Date:
October 10, 2012
Source:
Stony Brook Medicine
Summary:
Researchers have developed a high-resolution, 3D optical Doppler imaging tomography technique that captures the effects of cocaine restricting the blood supply in vessels of the brain.

Stony Brook University Biomedical Engineering Professors Drs. Yingtian Pan, left, and Congwu Du, developed a novel 3D optical Doppler imaging tomography technique that captures the effects of cocaine restricting the blood supply in brain blood vessels.
Credit: Image courtesy of Stony Brook Medicine

Researchers from the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Stony Brook University have developed a high-resolution, 3D optical Doppler imaging tomography technique that captures the effects of cocaine restricting the blood supply in vessels -- including small capillaries -- of the brain. The study, reported in Molecular Psychiatry, and with images on the journal's October 2012 cover, illustrates the first use of the novel neuroimaging technique and provides evidence of cocaine-induced cerebral microischemia, which can cause stroke.

Stroke is one of the most serious medical risks of cocaine abuse. Cerebral blood flow (CBF) is disrupted due to the vasoactive effects of cocaine, and research has shown that the process contributes to stroke in cocaine abusers. An effective treatment has yet to be discovered because of minimal knowledge on the underlying mechanisms that cause cerebrovascular changes resulting from cocaine abuse. Current neuroimaging methods that could reveal clues to underlying mechanisms that cause cocaine-induced restricted CBF, such as magnetic resonance imaging and computed tomography angiography, are limited in scope. The Stony Brook team's neuroimaging technique offers a promising method to investigate structural changes in the small neurovascular networks of the brain that may be implicated in stroke.

In "Cocaine-induced cortical microischemia in the rodent brain: clinical implications," the researchers discovered that cocaine administered in doses equivalent to those normally taken by abusers caused constriction in blood vessels that inhibited CBF for varying lengths of time. Brain arteries, veins, and even capillaries, the smallest vessels, were affected by the doses. CBF was markedly decreased within just two-to-three minutes after drug administration. In some vessels, a decrease in CBF reached 70 percent. Recovery time for the vessels varied. Cocaine interrupted CBF in some arteriolar branches for more than 45 minutes. This effect became more pronounced after repeated cocaine administration.

"Our study revealed evidence of cocaine-induced cerebral microischemic changes in multiple experimental models, and we were able to clearly image the process and vasoactive effects at a microvascular level," said study Principal Investigator Yingtian Pan, PhD, Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Stony Brook University. "These clinical changes jeopardize oxygen delivery to cerebral tissue making it vulnerable to ischemia and neuronal death."

The study reflects the collaborative research of Dr. Pan and Co-Principal Investigator Dr. Congwu Du, Associate Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering at Stony Brook University, and Dr. Nora D. Volkow, M.D., Director of the National Institutes of Health's (NIH) National Institute on Drug Abuse. They point out that the types of cocaine-induced microischemic changes that occurred in the brain model are likely a contributor to neurotoxic effects, and they could underlie some of the neurological complications commonly experienced by cocaine abusers. These include various sensory changes, facial paralysis, numbness, and partial to full and irreversible paralysis.

Other study co-authors include Stony Brook Biomedical Engineering graduate students H. Ren, Z. Yuan, and research staff K. Park.

The research was supported, in part, by NIH grants and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism Intramural Research Program.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Stony Brook Medicine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. H Ren, C Du, Z Yuan, K Park, N D Volkow, Y Pan. Cocaine-induced cortical microischemia in the rodent brain: clinical implications. Molecular Psychiatry, 2011; 17 (10): 1017 DOI: 10.1038/mp.2011.160

Cite This Page:

Stony Brook Medicine. "Neuroimaging technique captures cocaine's devastating effect on brain blood flow." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 October 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121010151237.htm>.
Stony Brook Medicine. (2012, October 10). Neuroimaging technique captures cocaine's devastating effect on brain blood flow. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121010151237.htm
Stony Brook Medicine. "Neuroimaging technique captures cocaine's devastating effect on brain blood flow." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121010151237.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A new study shows sleep deprivation can make it harder for people to remember specific details of an event. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
University Quiz Implies Atheists Are Smarter Than Christians

University Quiz Implies Atheists Are Smarter Than Christians

Newsy (July 25, 2014) An online quiz from a required course at Ohio State is making waves for suggesting atheists are inherently smarter than Christians. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

AFP (July 24, 2014) A so-called drugs rehab 'clinic' is closed down in Pakistan after police find scores of ‘patients’ chained up alleging serial abuse. Duration 03:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins