Scientists Discover Surprising Details about Xylazine in Combination with Fentanyl

Respiratory depression is a defining characteristic of opioid overdose and prolonged cerebral hypoxia may cause brain injuries and/or neurocognitive impairments. The onset, characteristics, and duration of such injuries is variable and additional research is needed to understand their clinical implications. In the absence of factors like liver or kidney disease or poor nutrition, prompt treatment – before significant, prolonged brain hypoxia and lack of fuel – might prevent severe and permanent structural and chemical brain damage or death. Alcohol is toxic to the brain, and alcohol poisoning can damage its structure and function. Acute alcohol poisoning can quickly degenerate into a life-threatening medical emergency or death, because of the acute damaging effects on the brain.

  • Other regions selectively affected in WE and KS include the orbitofrontal cortices (KS), periaqueductal gray matter, and tissue surrounding the third ventricle (WE).
  • Further, there is mounting evidence that central inflammatory signaling can interact with deficits in neural reward systems, which may indicate that people with TBI are more vulnerable to developing AUD.
  • That same person may awaken the next day feeling a little queasy, and that nausea may be accompanied by a terrible headache.
  • Some addiction specialists and public health officials feared the added xylazine would impede the fast-acting effects of the drug naloxone, which can effectively treat patients experiencing respiratory depression – a serious side effect of opioid use that can lead to death.


Although ventricular size increases with each binge EtOH exposure, there is rapid recovery during each week of abstinence (Zahr et al. 2015). Such studies suggest that EtOH alone, at least in the exposure protocols evaluated with MRI, does not result in the characteristics observed in human alcoholics. Conversely, rats exposed to vaporized EtOH during adolescence are reported to show persistent effects (i.e., ventricular enlargement and deficits in hippocampal volume) into adulthood (Ehlers et al. 2013; Gass et al. 2014). Mice exposed to EtOH during adolescence are similarly purported to exhibit long-lasting regional brain-volume deficits in the olfactory bulb and basal forebrain (Coleman et al. 2011, 2014). These results suggest that the adolescent rodent brain may be more vulnerable to enduring toxic effects of EtOH than the adult rodent brain.

MRS Findings in Recovery from Alcoholism

Articles were selected on the basis of their contribution to the field of alcohol-related brain damage research, with a particular focus on neuropathological and neuroimaging studies in humans. Referenced articles were mostly identified from MEDLINE using access search engines PubMed and NLM Gateway. Articles were retrieved using keywords such as “alcohol”, “ethanol”, “alcoholism”, “brain damage”, “white matter loss”, “atrophy”, “neuropathology”, “Wernicke encephalopathy”, “Korsakoff psychosis”, “Wernicke–Korsakoff sydrome”, “thiamine deficiency”, “pathogenesis”, “neuroimaging”, “genomics” and “proteomics”. All articles cited were published in English and most represent peer-reviewed original research articles.

  • Consequently, ethanol has pathological effects on intestinal function due to loss of barrier integrity, causing local and systemic inflammation and microbial dysbiosis [101].
  • Symptoms of alcohol overdose include mental confusion, difficulty remaining conscious, vomiting, seizure, trouble breathing, slow heart rate, clammy skin, dulled responses (such as no gag reflex, which prevents choking), and extremely low body temperature.
  • Heavier consumption of alcohol can impact the brain with increasing severity.
  • The heavy consumption of high-alcohol drinks is more likely to cause alcohol poisoning.

Binge drinking

Even if you’re unconscious, your stomach and intestines continue to release alcohol into your bloodstream, increasing the level of alcohol in your body. The epigenetic regulatory mechanism also may be applied to ethanol metabolization. For example, key alcohol-metabolizing enzymes are repressed via newly described regulation by miRNA in patients with alcoholic hepatitis [181]. Alcohol-induced inhibition of beta-oxidation is also mediated by the inhibition of PPAR-α (peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha), which is downregulated directly via acetaldehyde- or CYP2E1-related oxidative stress, zinc deficiency, adenosine, and adipokine signaling [98]. In addition to the lipogenic effect of NADH, it also inhibits the deacetylase activity of SIRT1 (sirtuin-1) [170], leading to the activation of the p53 protein with a pro-apoptotic effect [171]. Small portions of ethanol are metabolized via the nonoxidative pathway of ester formation.

Heavy or binge drinking, on the other hand, can also interfere with your brain’s communication pathways and affect how your brain processes information. Alcoholic drinks contain a form of alcohol known as ethyl alcohol or ethanol. This is also found in mouthwashes, some medicines, and household products.

Overdose Awareness Day 2022 – Alcohol and Drug Foundation

Overdose Awareness Day 2022.

Posted: Fri, 18 Aug 2023 07:00:00 GMT [source]

How is ARBD different from dementia?

alcohol overdose brain damage

Briefly, DTI takes advantage of the fact that MR images of the brain are predominantly maps of water protons with contrast created by their immediate environment and their motility. In regions with few or no constraints imposed by physical boundaries, such as CSF in the ventricles, water movement is random and uniform in every direction and is therefore isotropic. In contrast to CSF, the path of a water molecule along a white-matter fiber is constrained by physical boundaries such as the axon sheath, causing greater movement along the long axis of the fiber than across it. This movement is called anisotropic; diffusion along the long axis of a fiber (axial or longitudinal diffusion) is greater than diffusion across the fiber (radial or transverse diffusion) (Song et al. 2002).

alcohol overdose brain damage

Alcohol can have additional effects on developing brains, which are more vulnerable to the effects of alcohol. AcetylCoA serves as a precursor for fatty acid synthesis, which involves alcohol-induced transcription factors SREBPs (sterol regulatory element binding transcription factors) [172], which regulates the expression of genes involved in lipid synthesis [173]. The higher availability of acetylCoA originating from ethanol oxidation increases the acetylation of proinflammatory gene histones with subsequent enhancement of response in liver macrophages supporting the development of acute alcoholic hepatitis [174]. In the stomach, ethanol may cause injury via distinct possible mechanisms.

Who gets ARBD?

  • People should talk to a doctor about medical detox, which may prevent serious issues, such as delirium tremens.
  • Lungs are an important organ for the excretion of unchanged ethanol and the ethanol’s biotransformation and oxidation [48].
  • Alcohol abuse makes it more difficult for the body to absorb this nutrient, but other issues, such as severe eating disorders, cancer, AIDS, and conditions that affect the body’s ability to absorb nutrients, may also cause Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome.
  • Fetal alcohol syndrome affects many aspects of functioning, and it can cause brain damage.
  • Alcohol interferes with the brain’s communication pathways and can affect the way the brain looks and works.

SAM depletion can be explained via ethanol-induced inactivation of methionine adenosyltransferase, excessive hepatic consumption of SAM, or impaired betaine-mediated homocysteine methylation, leading to inhibition of vitamin B12 and folate-dependent methionine synthesis [175]. Excessive homocysteine induces the accumulation of misfolded proteins, resulting in endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress [176]. ER stress activates interferon regulatory factor 3 (IRF3), which modulates the inflammatory functions in liver macrophages [177] and is required for the mitochondrial pathway of hepatocyte apoptosis [178]. ER stress is also related to changes in membrane cholesterol content and Insig (significant integrator of nutrient and hormonal signals) level [179], which lead to the upregulation of SREBPs [172,180].

alcohol overdose brain damage

MBD, a disease marked by mildly impaired mental status (e.g., confusion) and sometimes by dysarthria (Lee et al. 2011) or ataxia (Arbelaez et al. 2003), is poorly understood but may be related to nutritional deficiencies in addition to chronic alcohol consumption (Kawamura et al. 1985). Traditionally characterized by demyelination and necrosis of the corpus callosum, a number of reports identify cortical lesions in so-called MBD (Ihn alcohol overdose et al. 2007; Johkura et al. 2005; Khaw and Heinrich 2006; Namekawa et al. 2013; Tuntiyatorn and Laothamatas 2008; Yoshizaki et al. 2010). Such data, however, represent single case studies and may reflect inaccurate MBD diagnoses. Prompt treatment of an alcohol overdose can prevent life-threatening health problems. However, severe alcohol overdose may cause seizures, resulting in brain damage if oxygen to the brain is cut off.

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