Scans reveal how co*aine ‘eats away’ at your brain in just months
Newly released images show a startling effect co*aine use can have on the human brain over time, painting a fresh picture of the drug’s deadly side effects.
The photos reveal brain scans where the tissue is eroded from the inside, leaving a visible hole in the vital organ.
These brain scans show the frightening reality of taking too much co*aine.
The patient from whom the scans were taken was suffering from a rare but severe side-effect of co*aine use called co*aine-induced toxic leucoencephalopathy.
The man’s parents brought him in to the hospital after two days of confusion and strange behavior. They believed it had been about two or three days since he had last used co*aine. Doctors noted that his pupils were “briskly reactive to light,” and that he was “not cooperative, unable to perform simple tasks and was not following commands.”
He has since made a full recovery, but doctors decided to share the scans from this case to raise awareness.
Dr Ylenia Abdilla, who treated the anonymous man at the hospital in Msida, said: “It’s a rare disorder which can cause significant disability.
“This case study is intended to increase awareness of this condition. The prognosis is generally poor and can be rapidly fatal, however some rare cases recover fully, as is seen in this case report.”
Dr. Abdilla and her colleagues at the Mater Dei hospital treated the man after he was brought to them by concerned parents, two or three days after the last time he’d taken co*aine.
“These include an altered level of consciousness, confusion, impaired language, altered vision, fever or spasticity.
“Prognosis is poor – the condition progresses rapidly and often lead to death. Rarely it has been reported to result in complete recovery, as in our case.”
The patient was finally allowed to go home after four months of continuous treatment. However, the doctor noted “persistent white matter changes in his brain,” meaning that the drugs still had a permanent, lingering effect on his body. Hopefully, his story will encourage others to avoid the same fate.