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February 1954

LOWER LIMB REFLEXES OF A "CHRONIC SPINAL" MAN IN CYCLES OF MORPHINE AND METHADONE ADDICTION

Author Affiliations

LEXINGTON, KY.; MONTREAL, CANADA

From the National Institute of Mental Health Addiction Research Center, National Institutes of Health, Public Health Service, United States Department of Health, Education and Welfare, and the Clinical Division, Public Health Service Hospital.

AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1954;71(2):160-170. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1954.02320380026003
Abstract

IN PREVIOUS studies * it was demonstrated that well-defined abstinence syndromes ensue when opiates are withdrawn abruptly after a period of addiction in long-surviving dogs without neocortex and in chronic spinal dogs. These, and other, data3 indicated that the opiate abstinence syndrome involves the entire neuraxis, that, at least in part, its genesis is related to factors of little or no symbolic significance, and that the neurophysiological mechanisms that contribute to its development consist primarily of cyclic depression and excitation of certain internuncial neuron systems, with progressive augmentation of the latter process, which becomes manifest on abrupt withdrawal of the drug.

However, direct transfer of such conclusions to the explanation of drug addiction in man could be made only with reservations because of possible species differences. Studies on the effects of bilateral frontal lobotomy in man4 revealed that interruption of thalamofrontal fiber systems reduces markedly the craving for narcotics

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