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A Huff Equals a Puff
ScienceNOW Daily News ^ | 10 January 2007 | Rhitu Chatterjee

Posted on 01/21/2007 8:52:59 PM PST by neverdem

A Huff Equals a Puff

By Rhitu Chatterjee
ScienceNOW Daily News
10 January 2007

Sniffing, or huffing, glue, paint, cleaning fluids, and nail polish remover may appear relatively harmless, but it is physiologically no different from other forms of drug abuse. That's the conclusion of a new study that shows that toluene, the solvent in many of these inhaled substances, has the same effect on our brains as notorious drugs like cocaine and methamphetamine. The findings explain a long-standing mystery about the impact of this addictive substance on the brain and suggest ways of developing treatments for addiction.

Solvent abuse increases a person's desire for other drugs, boosts the risk of depression and suicide, and irreversibly damages the brain, heart, kidney, and liver. But the exact effect of solvents such as toluene on our brains has remained unclear. Unlike other drugs that target specific areas of the brain, solvents were thought to act on all brain regions. Then, in 2002, neurologist Stephen Dewey of Brookhaven National Laboratory, in Upton, New York, and colleagues showed that toluene homes in on brain areas such as the reward center, which includes two main structures, the ventral tegmental area (VTA,) and the nucleus accumbens (ACB). Drugs such as nicotine and cocaine activate a group of dopamine-producing neurons in the VTA. These neurons start firing and release dopamine--the brain's feel-good chemical--into the VTA and the ACB. Studies by neurophysiologist Arthur Riegel of the Oregon Health and Science University in Portland and his colleagues revealed that toluene also stimulates the neurons in the VTA to start firing. But no one was able to show whether it also induces them to release dopamine in the ACB or the VTA, leading some scientists to ask if toluene exerted its effects on the brain through a dopamine-independent pathway.

To get to the bottom of toluene's mechanism of action, Riegel, neurophysiologist Augustin Zapata of the National Institute on Drug Abuse in Baltimore, Maryland, and colleagues dunked rat brain slices in different concentrations of toluene and found that lower concentrations were more potent. Solutions of 1 micromolar or more no longer activated the neurons, explaining why solvents are most potent when inhaled in small quantities. Next, the scientists injected small amounts of toluene into the brains of live rats. Not only did it electrically activate the VTA, it also caused the same neurons to release dopamine into the VTA and ACB, proving that toluene action on the brain is similar to that of other drugs. The team reports its findings online today in Neuropsychopharmacology.

The study is "a really outstanding piece of work," says Dewey. It answers the fundamental question about inhalant abuse, he notes: namely, what is the direct effect of the substance on dopamine in the brain's reward center? Researchers should now investigate whether they can curb toluene addiction using compounds that block dopamine receptors, he says.

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TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: drugabuse; health; science; toluene; wod
The Abused Inhalant Toluene Increases Dopamine Release in the Nucleus Accumbens by Directly Stimulating Ventral Tegmental Area Neurons.
1 posted on 01/21/2007 8:53:01 PM PST by neverdem
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To: neverdem

2 posted on 01/21/2007 8:57:36 PM PST by fieldmarshaldj (Cheney X -- Destroying the Liberal Democrat Traitors By Any Means Necessary -- Ya Dig ? Sho 'Nuff.)
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To: neverdem

Fine.

If I can't make Gryffindor, I want in Ravenclaw.


3 posted on 01/21/2007 8:58:40 PM PST by NicknamedBob (My tuner doesn't have good taste the way it used to!)
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To: neverdem
Sniffing, or huffing, glue, paint, cleaning fluids, and nail polish remover may appear relatively harmless Really?!? Often, when one of my friends stumbles over a word of says something crazy I ask them if they have been "huffing glue". I thought it was kind of a universal term and understood by most that it kills MASSIVE amounts of brain cells.
4 posted on 01/21/2007 9:06:54 PM PST by word_warrior_bob (You can now see my amazing doggie on my homepage!! Come say hello to Jake.)
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To: word_warrior_bob

I think your dog would look better with glasses.

Think about it. It would definitely make him look more studious.


And if anybody asks, just say he reads too much.


5 posted on 01/21/2007 9:11:35 PM PST by NicknamedBob (My tuner doesn't have good taste the way it used to!)
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To: fieldmarshaldj

LMAO!


6 posted on 01/21/2007 9:14:20 PM PST by Kate of Spice Island (Jawn Eff Qari - what a maroon!)
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To: NicknamedBob

Maybe like a pair of Mr Peabody glasses, he might like those.


7 posted on 01/21/2007 9:15:34 PM PST by word_warrior_bob (You can now see my amazing doggie on my homepage!! Come say hello to Jake.)
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To: neverdem

The study on drug effects on spiders needs to add toluene.
http://www.glumbert.com/media/spiders


8 posted on 01/21/2007 9:17:00 PM PST by posterchild (Spent some money on women and beer, the rest was just wasted.)
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To: neverdem

9 posted on 01/21/2007 9:23:19 PM PST by uglybiker (AU-TO-MO-BEEEEEEEL?!!)
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To: word_warrior_bob

I figure a pair of children's sunglasses, with the lenses removed would be the perfect size.

Inexpensive, too.


Then Jake would be a real chick magnet.


10 posted on 01/21/2007 9:23:21 PM PST by NicknamedBob (My tuner doesn't have good taste the way it used to!)
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To: neverdem

Time to outlaw paints and aerosols and etc etc. or at least put them behind the counter and make people sign for them when buying. We need to expand the War on Some Drugs to include these dangerous chemicals.


11 posted on 01/21/2007 9:28:46 PM PST by Sir Gawain
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To: Sir Gawain; neverdem
"Time to outlaw paints and aerosols and etc etc."

I'd prefeer that we outlaw stupidity, or at least increase the punishment.

12 posted on 01/21/2007 9:33:44 PM PST by NicknamedBob (My tuner doesn't have good taste the way it used to!)
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To: word_warrior_bob
"Sniffing, or huffing, glue, paint, cleaning fluids, and nail polish remover may appear relatively harmless"

That jumped out at me too. Even in my misspent youth my pals and I regarded sniffing as degenerate


13 posted on 01/21/2007 9:34:15 PM PST by I see my hands (_8(|)
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To: Sir Gawain; neverdem

Hoping, of course, that typos don't count as stupidity.


14 posted on 01/21/2007 9:35:07 PM PST by NicknamedBob (My tuner doesn't have good taste the way it used to!)
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To: word_warrior_bob

So you got rid of the girlfriend and kept the dog. Smart choice.


15 posted on 01/21/2007 9:37:43 PM PST by Moonman62 (The issue of whether cheap labor makes America great should have been settled by the Civil War.)
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To: Kate of Spice Island

Looks like he picked the wrong week to stop sniffing glue.


16 posted on 01/21/2007 9:38:33 PM PST by fieldmarshaldj (Cheney X -- Destroying the Liberal Democrat Traitors By Any Means Necessary -- Ya Dig ? Sho 'Nuff.)
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To: neverdem
Sniffing, or huffing, glue, paint, cleaning fluids, and nail polish remover may appear relatively harmless...

Are you kidding me? That crap's nasty just to think about. Aerosols, too. If you absolutely must get high, kids, stick with stuff that's at least kinda sorta safe for human consumption.

17 posted on 01/21/2007 9:49:12 PM PST by RichInOC (...Phi Kappa Sigma, Beta Rho '87..."I won't go schizo, will I?" "It's a distinct possibility.")
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To: Moonman62

Works for me, back to sampling various delicacies.


18 posted on 01/21/2007 9:49:17 PM PST by word_warrior_bob (You can now see my amazing doggie on my homepage!! Come say hello to Jake.)
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To: fieldmarshaldj

Glad I didn't have a nice swill of coffee (or anything else) before reading your response.


19 posted on 01/21/2007 10:00:10 PM PST by Kate of Spice Island (Jawn Eff Qari - what a maroon!)
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To: El Gato; Ernest_at_the_Beach; Robert A. Cook, PE; lepton; LadyDoc; jb6; tiamat; PGalt; Dianna; ...
Barnyard Pharmaceuticals

NHTSA Probes Headlight Glare (38)

FReepmail me if you want on or off my health and science ping list.

20 posted on 01/21/2007 10:19:26 PM PST by neverdem (May you be in heaven a half hour before the devil knows that you're dead.)
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To: I see my hands

I'm pretty sure I learned that in Grade 6 in DARE, and I probably knew it before that. I mean, it's pretty self-evident that if you go around sniffing deadly chemicals you're not going to be improving your health.
I guess what I'm trying to get at is you have to have been sniffing a fair amount to think that its not bad for you.


21 posted on 01/21/2007 10:51:22 PM PST by oakcon
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To: Sir Gawain
We need to expand the War on Some Drugs to include these dangerous chemicals.

Huffing gasoline does the same. We need gasoline prohibition!
.
22 posted on 01/21/2007 11:07:18 PM PST by mugs99 (Don't take life too seriously, you won't get out alive.)
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To: uglybiker
The picture is a frequent scene in my area. The only difference is a native american wearing the gold glitter goatee.
23 posted on 01/21/2007 11:20:23 PM PST by Myrddin
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To: neverdem

My brother has been sniffing paint, cleaners and lacquer for years. He's a painter and forgets his mask half the time. Maybe that's why he's so paranoid. He lacquered our stairs to get rid of the previous owners cat smell and I had breathing problems and nausea for weeks afterwards and that was just from the lingering smell. Nasty stuff.


24 posted on 01/22/2007 2:17:18 AM PST by DancingMyRainbow
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To: NicknamedBob

Oye.


25 posted on 01/22/2007 5:35:22 AM PST by Robert A. Cook, PE (I can only donate monthly, but Hillary's ABBCNNBCBS continue to lie every day!)
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To: NicknamedBob

Mother Nature has already taken care of the punishment for stupidity. Have you ever seen the Darwin Awards?


26 posted on 01/22/2007 5:59:38 AM PST by webstersII
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To: webstersII

I particularly enjoyed the one about the guy who decided to go "ice fishing" with dynamite.

He drove his SUV out on the ice, lit and threw a stick of dynamite, and then watched in horror as his dog ran to fetch the stick.

With all his whooping and hollering, the dog took shelter under the SUV, and then scurried away before the explosion.

So he bagged one SUV that day. Evil things, anyway, you know.


27 posted on 01/22/2007 6:13:55 AM PST by NicknamedBob (My tuner doesn't have good taste the way it used to!)
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To: webstersII
"Mother Nature has already taken care of the punishment for stupidity."

The problem is, we're fighting against Mother Nature. We coddle and reward the stupid, to the tune of millions in cash settlements for their confessed stupidity in insurance rip-offs.

28 posted on 01/22/2007 6:18:49 AM PST by NicknamedBob (My tuner doesn't have good taste the way it used to!)
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To: DancingMyRainbow
My brother has been sniffing paint, cleaners and lacquer for years. He's a painter and forgets his mask half the time. Maybe that's why he's so paranoid. He lacquered our stairs to get rid of the previous owners cat smell and I had breathing problems and nausea for weeks afterwards and that was just from the lingering smell. Nasty stuff.

I grew up in a body shop. Masks (or at least the ones we had back then) only stop particulates. The don't stop the fumes.

29 posted on 01/22/2007 6:21:41 AM PST by tacticalogic ("Oh bother!" said Pooh, as he chambered his last round.)
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To: DancingMyRainbow

"He's a painter and forgets his mask half the time."

Be thankful, I guess, he's not a welder, a deep sea diver, or a parachutist.


30 posted on 01/22/2007 1:16:38 PM PST by gcruse (http://garycruse.blogspot.com/)
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To: neverdem

btt


31 posted on 01/22/2007 4:48:12 PM PST by Ciexyz (In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths. Proverbs 3:6)
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