So, we have bad news: drugs are bad for you. Despite what El Chapo has to say about it, DARE was actually onto something.
Now we have even worse news: snorting cocaine can cause your brain to eat itself. Talk about zombie sh*t.
In a new study from researchers at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, the effects on the brains of mice were traumatic and caused cells to themselves. According to Mic, the process is an accelerated version of Autophagy, a natural series of events in which “cells clean out — or digest — unwanted debris stored inside bag-like structures called vacuoles.” However, when the process sped up, it caused cell death.
Unfortunately it got worse for pregnant users.
“A cell is like a household that is constantly generating trash,” Prasun Guha, lead author and postdoctoral fellow at Johns Hopkins, wrote in the release. “Autophagy is the housekeeper that takes out the trash. … But cocaine makes the housekeeper throw away really important things, like mitochondria, which produce energy for the cell.”
Findings also revealed that over time, aggressive autophagy can kill neurons, a major cell type found in the brain. Guha explained that the study was presented to “alarm cocaine users that chronic use of cocaine may weaken up neuronal health, leading to multiple neurological disorders,” including memory loss and other cognitive defects.
With this information, researchers can find a more accurate way to deal with the drug’s toxic effects. In the meantime, we’ll be crying ourselves to sleep out of pure horror.