Â This is a broad topic, but I picked it because I feel that they are related. In other words, an internal substance similar to mescaline causes schizophrenia. There may be more than one endogenous toxin. Alcohol is an example of an exogenous toxin that causes a form of mental disease. Amphetamine is another. It causes amphetamine psychosis.
Sergei Sergeivich Korsakov (1854-1900)
Â An alternate spelling is "Korsakoff", but Yahoo prefers "Korsakov". "Korsakoff" may be the English translation of the Russian "Korsakov". I will go with the original Russian name. He was a brilliant neuropathologist who studied alcoholism. At that time (the 19th century) the only way you could look at the brain was to examine it postmortem. This is also what Broca did, but Broca studied stroke victims. Neither one of them won the Nobel Prize because it wasn't started until the 20th century, and Noble Prizes aren't awarded postmortem.
Â Nevertheless, Russia honored Korsakov by naming a prestious Russian medical journal after him. They bestowed a similar honor to Pavlov, but Pavlov did get a Nobel Prize in Physiology.
Â Korsakov has also been honored by Korsakov's psychosis being named after him. Korsakov reported neuropathology in alcoholism.
Â Ecstacy, which is perhaps a misnomer, is an amphetamine analog. It is discussed in the book "Buzzed" by Cynthia Kuhn et al of Duke University Medical Center. Also in the amphetamine family is Ritalin, a prescription drug used on children. Ritalin is blasted in the book "Talking Back to Ritalin" by Dr. Peter Breggin, author of "Talking Back to Prozac. Breggin has been on the Oprah Winfrey show at least 4 times. I am not in agreement with all of Breggin's views. Breggin feels that psychiatry is "toxic" and it uses neurotoxins.Â
Â My view is that not all of psychiatry is "toxic". Breggin has also blasted shock treatment. To his credit, many amphetamines were once used as medicines. However, this did not work out well, and they have fallen from favor for good reasons.
Â Â On the other hand, Breggin denies a biochemical basis for mental illness. He is completely wrong about that.
Â PCP was once a prescription drug called "Serenyl". Even opium was once used as a medicine, but this was in the 19th century. For that matter, even leeches were used in the 19th century!Â Â
Â Cocaine is usually a white powder. Information on it, including a photo of it, is in the book "Buzzed", which also discusses heroin. Heroin is seen in different colors depending on the coutry of origin. Mexican heroin is brown.
Â Marijuana is also discussed in the same book. The active ingredient is THC. The buds have a higher THC content. Abusers prefer the buds.
Â This is a "magic" mushroom. It has a long staulk.
Â Ritalin contains methylphenidate. Dexedrine is another amphetamine analog.
Â The reason that I studied "Buzzed" was that I was looking for chemical structures for structure-activity relationships. No chemical structures were shown in the book. However, I do recommend the book because it covers a wide variety of abused drugs including codeine, Percodan, Demerol, morphine, etc. Many prescription drugs including Valium are abused, unfortunately.
"Just say know." Kuhn et al
Â An interesting tidbit is that the use of mescaline is legal in the Native American Church! This is allowed because they consider it a religious ritual. However, I do not recommend this ritual.
Â I do not believe in Scientology, but even a blind squirrel can gather a nut once in a while. Scientology has severely criticized the use of stimulants on children. I happen to agree with them on this point even though I believe that they are hucksters with "Dianetics". The fact that Dianetics is a fraud does not necessarily mean that they are wrong about the stimulants. I have published many attacks on Scientology at Gather and at Associated Content.
Â How does mental illness fit into this? Methamphetamine abuse produces the same symptoms as schizophrenia. Mescaline intoxication produces similar symptoms to schizophrenia. LSD is somewhat different. LSD also causes pupil dilation, which we do not see in schizophrenia.
Â My view is that both mescaline and amphetamine resemble dopamine in chemical structure. Amphetamine is known to act on dopamine synapses. An important difference is that dopamine has no methyl groups. Amphetamine and its analogs do, and mescaline has three methoxy groups. Thus a methylated derivative of dopamine could be the endogenous toxin that causes schizophrenia. Dopamine is known to be metabolized in part by methylation.
Â The bibliography gives more information on these important subjects. More research needs to be done.
Â I am submitting this article to Man Among Men to honor Korsakov.