Today In Slightly Less Than Awesome News About Cocaine: Cocaine Causes Your Brain Cells To Eat Themselves

by 2 years ago


While Winter Storm Jonas blasted the East Coast with snow, I’m sure some of you Bros celebrated it by blasting yourself with the other white stuff.

I’m talking about doing cocaine this weekend. You did some, come on, I know you did. It’s cool, I don’t care, I just wanna let you know that before the next time you do some, say goodbye to a good deal of your brain cells who will, after you ingest cocaine, eat themselves alive.

That’s right, cell self-cannibalism.

The news comes from researchers at Johns Hopkins, who studied the effects of cocaine on mice. Even the name of their paper is ominous: New Evidence in Mice That Cocaine Makes Brain Cells Cannibalize Themselves.


Working with mice, researchers at Johns Hopkins have contributed significant new evidence to support the idea that high doses of cocaine kill brain cells by triggering overactive autophagy, a process in which cells literally digest their own insides.

Oh. Okay. That’s not good, right?

“A cell is like a household that is constantly generating trash,” says Prasun Guha, Ph.D., postdoctoral fellow at Johns Hopkins and lead author of the paper. “Autophagy is the housekeeper that takes out the trash — it’s usually a good thing. But cocaine makes the housekeeper throw away really important things, like mitochondria, which produce energy for the cell.”

It’s almost like puking after you drink, but instead of throwing up the contents of your stomach, you forcibly eject your small and large intestines out of your mouth.

Gross, I know. But there is hope!

[Solomon Snyder, M.D., professor of neuroscience at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine] says the team hopes its work will eventually lead to treatments that protect adults and infants from the devastating effects of cocaine on the brain.

Risk-free cocaine? Sign me up.

[H/T Mic]

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