Visit the MUHC Café scientifique and explore the interactions between drugs and the brain; positive, negative, and useful to science.
The McGill University Health Centre teamed up with the Montreal Neurological Institute and the Douglas Mental Health University Institute to bring you this Café Scientifique on Tuesday, February 12, 2008.
The event was made possible by a grant from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)
HOST - Dr. Rémi Quirion, Scientific Director of the Douglas Mental Health University Institute and Scientific Director of the CIHR* Institute of Neuroscience, Mental Health and Addiction. BIO
Our attraction to the cues surrounding the drug in question becomes stronger and stronger. This is called Sensitization. Contrastingly, the effects of the drugs themselves have less and less effect, which is called Tolerance. -Which of these effects is more important for the development of addiction? This is the controversial topic.
Pourquoi les drogues sont addictives? Pourquoi est-ce que notre cerveau nous permet de devenir dependant des drogues?
-The Marijuana plant is an evolutionary success, because it puts a chemical in its leaves that makes it desirable to humans. But why do these plants have chemicals that affect the brain?
Patients say there are 3 things that marijuana does for them: It helps them sleep, it helps their pain, and it helps them relax. All three are things with which a chronic pain sufferer struggles.
They discovered it doesn't take the pain away, but it separates the patient from the pain, so that they aren't as bothered by it as they are when they're on the drug.
Q & A
1. Is there such a thing as an addictive personality, and if so, why?
2. How do you deal with the more trendy prescription drugs that can be recreationally used of illegally sold by the patients to whom they are prescribed?
3. How do you manage the link between alcoholism/drug abuse and depression, in your patients?
4. Can you explain how, even if someone stops smoking for 50 years, they could still remain attracted to the smell of cigarette smoke?
5. Are there any examples of animals becoming addicted to substances, and if not, what prevents us from avoiding drugs the way they do?
6. What role does heredity play in the formation of addiction?
7. Is there a genetic/racial factor in predisposition towards alcoholism/addiction?
8. What is the human brain's capacity to restore itself after prolonged drug/alcohol abuse?
9. Does sex addiction fall into the same category as substance abuse?
10. Does marijuana have the same effect on pain sufferers as it does on people using it for recreational purposes?
11. Is the relationship between the pharmaceutical industry and physicians dangerous in how it could influence their decisions?
12. Au cours du traitement de la dépression, une dépendance sur les drogues préscrites pourrait-être crée. Comment est-ce que ceci se rapport à la santé mentale du patient?
13. Considering the many varieties of cannabis, and the different (at least) perceived effects they have on the mind, how sure can we be that THC is the sole active ingredient?
14. In that case, if you're prescribing pure THC to a patient, is that necessarily what they need, or could it be that a richer mixture of ingredients is necessary?
15. There isn't much research done on performance enhancing drugs due to their taboo perception in society, yet they may have other, more beneficial uses. What can be done to allow this kind of clinical research to go forward?
16. What kind of effect does being on a methadone program for several years have on a patient's bones, muscles and body in general?
17. So does that mean that there is no follow-up surveillance after clinical trials?
18. In your introduction, you mentioned that all drugs but one are plant derived. Which one were you referring to?
19. With regards to chronic pain, do we have any idea what's triggering the pain pathways?
20. What are your thoughts on the notion of habituation vs. addiction?
21. How can we accurately test the effects of a drug when many patients would use it in combination with one or more other drugs?
22. Is there a link between drug use and insomnia/sleep patterns?
23. Can things like obsessions with buying only name-brand products, or visiting social networking websites, become addictions as well?
24. How effective are ADD drugs on post-adolescents?
25. Is there a connection between depression and chronic pain?
26. Why is it that many people don't believe food can become an addiction?
27. As the brains of children with ADHD are still developing, is there a way to regulate their dopamine levels without giving them a drug that could potentially alter that development?
28. When treating pain through acute pain management, is the positive effect psychological or more physiological in nature?