Brain & Drugs
  • Ephedra Causes Strokes

    "Ephedra is an amphetamine-like alkaloid that was incorporated into many weight loss, fat-burner, and energy boosting products. Haller and Benowitz warned that: “Dietary supplements that contain ephedra alkaloids (also known as ma huang) and guarana-derived caffeine are widely consumed in the United States for purposes of weight reduction and energy enhancement. The herb ma-huang, which consists of the dried stems of the Ephedra equisetina plant, contains ephedrine, norephedrine, pseudoephedrine, and norpseudoephedrine. It has been used for centuries in China. Ephedrine was first isolated in 1885 and, shortly after, was used to treat asthma. Many OTC medications contain ephedrine and pseudoephedrine for treating asthma and allergic rhiniti.s

    A number of reports of adverse reactions to dietary supplements that contain ephedra alkaloids, some of which resulted in permanent injury or death, have appeared in the medical literature. In response to growing concern about the safety of ephedra alkaloids in dietary supplements, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requested an independent review of reports of adverse events related to the use of ephedra alkaloids to assess causation and determine the level of risk these products pose to consumers.”

    Weight loss products such as Stacker 3 and Ripped Fuel Extreme were sold with false claims and product hype such as the "ECA stack" that referred to the combination of ephedrine, caffeine and aspirin. Between January 1993 and October 2000, the FDA received 1,398 reports of adverse health events and 81 deaths attributed to ephedra supplements. Ephedra-related products accounted for less than 1% of all dietary supplement sales but lead to 64% of adverse event reactions reported to poison control centers. Ephedra effects included hypertension, seizures, cerebrovascular accidents, cardiac arrhythmias, myocardial infarctions, psychosis, and cognitive impairments. In December 2003, the FDA issued a consumer alert warning and later prohibited ephedra sales in February 2004" From Reuter's Health. In February 2004, the US FDA prohibited the sale of dietary supplements containing ephedrine citing that they constitute an unreasonable risk due to their potential health risks and questionable health benefits.

    Moawad et al reported a case study of a 29-year-old who had a seizure while playing basketball. He had never experienced a seizure activity before. He on a “weight loss program” using the ephedra-containing supplements, Stacker 3 and Ripped Fuel Extreme. On admission to hospital he had high blood pressure, evidence of a heart attack and confusion. His symptoms subsided with blood pressure control, but one week later, he developed complete visual loss. His blood pressure was markedly elevated. The visual areas of his brain were abnormal on scan. The diagnosis was posterior reversible encephalopathy, a syndrome characterized by headache, mental status changes, generalized seizures and transient cortical blindness. The development of the syndrome, especially cortical blindness, may be delayed up to several weeks after the initial insult. An acute rise in systemic blood pressure resulting in hypertensive encephalopathy is the most commonly reported cause. Fortunately for this patient, cortical blindness, mental status changes and radiographic abnormalities resolved with control of his blood pressure.

    J. Moawad et al; Transient Blindness Due to Posterior Reversible Encephalopathy Syndrome Following Ephedra Overdose. South Med J.2006;99(5):511-514.

    • You are viewing the Brain Drugs at Alpha Online. Understanding the human brain is essential to become a well-informed, modern citizen. Responsible adults need to become better informed about prescription drugs and exercise constraint when seeking and accepting prescriptions that alter brain function. The topics online are from the book, Human Brain, by Stephen Gislason MD, a physician-writer who is good at making complex subjects more understandable.

    • Alpha Online is a Division of Environmed Research, founded in 1984 at Vancouver, BC, Canada. Online Since 1995.
      Alpha Nutrition is a trademark and a division of Environmed Research Inc.
    • Download The Human Brain as an eBook

      All Alpha Education and Persona Digital books, eBooks and Starter packs are ordered at Alpha Online. Prices are listed in Canadian Dollars.
      US $ cost is lower depending on the daily dollar exchange rate. Physical shipments by the Post Office are available to all destinations in the USA and Canada. We are located in Sechelt, close to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

      Brain Rescue Starter Pack

      This starter pack includes the Alpha Nutrition Program, the Human Brain in Health and Disease and one 500 Gram jar of Alpha DMX. There are a host of clues that link the food supply to mysterious and threatening neurological diseases. We suggest that a prudent person suffering early brain-dysfunction symptoms would be wise to pursue vigorous, thorough diet revision at the earliest opportunity. Because some brain dysfunction compromises judgment learning and motivation, family members, friends and professional advisor often have to initiate diet revision and provide the right direction and support.

      Order Brain Rescue Starter Pack

    • Order Persona Digital Books

      Click the Add to Cart buttons on the left to begin your order for printed books from Alpha Online (mail delivery to US and Canada).
      Download eBooks
      Click the Download button to order eBooks (PDF file) for download. Click book title (center column) to read topics from each book.

      Print Book Read Topics Download
      Human Nature
      The Good Person
      The Puzzle
      Sound of Music
      Surviving Humans
      Language & Thinking
      I and Thou
      Emotions & Feelings
      Neuroscience Notes
      Human Brain
      Children & Family
      Intelligence & Learning
      Religion 21st Century

      Further reading: Neuroscience Notes, Intelligence and Learning, Language & Thinking

      Persona Digital

      Persona Digital Books is the publisher of The Human Brain, Neuroscience Notes, Intelligence & Learning and related books.