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  • MDMA, cannabis, and cocaine produce acute dissociative symptoms.

    19 February 2018

    Some drugs of abuse may produce dissociative symptoms, but this aspect has been understudied. We explored the dissociative potential of three recreational drugs (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), cannabis, and cocaine) during intoxication and compared their effects to literature reports of dissociative states in various samples. Two placebo-controlled studies were conducted. In Study 1 (N=16), participants received single doses of 25, 50, and 100 mg of MDMA, and placebo. In Study 2 (N=21), cannabis (THC 300 µg/kg), cocaine (HCl 300 mg), and placebo were administered. Dissociative symptoms as measured with the Clinician-Administered Dissociative States Scale (CADSS) significantly increased under the influence of MDMA and cannabis. To a lesser extent, this was also true for cocaine. Dissociative symptoms following MDMA and cannabis largely exceeded those observed in schizophrenia patients, were comparable with those observed in Special Forces soldiers undergoing survival training, but were lower compared with ketamine-induced dissociation. Cocaine produced dissociative symptoms that were comparable with those observed in schizophrenia patients, but markedly less than those in Special Forces soldiers and ketamine users. Thus, MDMA and cannabis can produce dissociative symptoms that resemble dissociative pathology. The study of drug induced dissociation is important, because it may shed light on the mechanisms involved in dissociative psychopathology.

  • The increase in theta/beta ratio on resting-state EEG in boys with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder is mediated by slow alpha peak frequency.

    28 January 2018

    Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) was found to be characterized by a deviant pattern of electrocortical activity during resting state, particularly increased theta and decreased beta activity. The first objective of the present study is to confirm whether individuals with slow alpha peak frequency contribute to the finding of increased theta activity in ADHD. The second objective is to explore the relation between resting-state brain oscillations and specific cognitive functions. From 49 boys with ADHD and 49 healthy control boys, resting-state EEG during eyes open and eyes closed was recorded, and a variety of cognitive tasks were administered. Theta and beta power and theta/beta ratio were calculated using both fixed frequency bands and individualized frequency bands. As expected, theta/beta ratio, calculated using fixed frequency bands, was significantly higher in ADHD children than control children. However, this group effect was not significant when theta/beta ratio was assessed using individualized frequency bands. No consistent relation was found between resting-state brain oscillations and cognition. The present results suggest that previous findings of increased theta/beta ratio in ADHD may reflect individuals with slow alpha peak frequencies in addition to individuals with true increased theta activity. Therefore, the often reported theta/beta ratio in ADHD can be considered a non-specific measure combining several distinct neurophysiological subgroups such as frontal theta and slowed alpha peak frequencies. Future research should elucidate the functional role of resting-state brain oscillations by investigating neurophysiological subgroups, which may have a clearer relation to cognitive functions than single frequency bands.

  • MDMA, cannabis, and cocaine produce acute dissociative symptoms

    27 October 2017

    © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. Some drugs of abuse may produce dissociative symptoms, but this aspect has been understudied. We explored the dissociative potential of three recreational drugs (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), cannabis, and cocaine) during intoxication and compared their effects to literature reports of dissociative states in various samples. Two placebo-controlled studies were conducted. In Study 1 (N=16), participants received single doses of 25, 50, and 100. mg of MDMA, and placebo. In Study 2 (N=21), cannabis (THC 300. μg/kg), cocaine (HCl 300. mg), and placebo were administered. Dissociative symptoms as measured with the Clinician-Administered Dissociative States Scale (CADSS) significantly increased under the influence of MDMA and cannabis. To a lesser extent, this was also true for cocaine. Dissociative symptoms following MDMA and cannabis largely exceeded those observed in schizophrenia patients, were comparable with those observed in Special Forces soldiers undergoing survival training, but were lower compared with ketamine-induced dissociation. Cocaine produced dissociative symptoms that were comparable with those observed in schizophrenia patients, but markedly less than those in Special Forces soldiers and ketamine users. Thus, MDMA and cannabis can produce dissociative symptoms that resemble dissociative pathology. The study of drug induced dissociation is important, because it may shed light on the mechanisms involved in dissociative psychopathology.

  • Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation in Depression. Protocols, Mechanisms, and New Developments

    27 October 2017

    This chapter examines the TMS (transcranial magnetic stimulation), which is a non-invasive neuromodulation technique. It has a very direct influence on brain physiology. The basic principle of TMS is the application of short magnetic pulses over the scalp of a subject with the aim of inducing electrical currents in the neurons of the cortex. A typical TMS device consists of a stimulator that can generate a strong electrical current, and a coil in which the fluctuating electrical current generates magnetic pulses. If the magnetic pulses are delivered in the proximity of a conductive medium, e.g. the brain, a secondary current in the conductive material is induced. In the practice of TMS, a subject is seated in a chair and an operator positions the coil above the scalp of the subject, tunes the stimulation parameters of the stimulator, and applies the TMS pulses. © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.