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Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Alpha-1-Adrenergic Receptors and Violent Criminals/Sociopaths ( As Well Sexual Sadists )

One of the most significant consistencies in anger-excitation Rapists and sexual sadists - is that they often have been found to have lower heart rate's (1) (2). Some violent criminals are found to have elevated epinephrine levels (adrenaline) (3) (4) (5) - the discrepancy here though is that high adrenaline isn't necessarily a psychological parallel to those who 'seek' further adrenaline bursts...

..But the answer isn't that simple as either high or low; because adrenaline activities on human physiology differ based on the receptor activated.
Adrenaline decreases heart rate and increases blood pressure by both alpha-1 and alpha-2 receptors, whereas by beta-receptors it increases heart rate and can either increase or decrease blood pressure.

So we could hypothesize that violent criminals have elevated levels of adrenaline ONLY at the alpha-receptors - but then we would have to enter into the debate about WHY they have more alpha-activation and not beta activation.

Now, as for some putative evidence 


Most likely.

Take a look at these few studies.

After you've finished reading that - take a look at a study on a common decongestant medication used in SudaFed P.E - the active ingredient is PHENYLEPHRINE HCL - which mimics adrenaline at the alpha-1-receptor - and has been shown to impair oxygenation in the frontal lobe specifically. 

NOTE : The study demonstrated resting oxygenation - which could explain why violent criminals and rapists feel the need to seek stimulation - because it raises oxygen to a near appropriate amount (but still not normal level) . 

Consistent again with this hypothesis, is phenylephrine and alpha-1-activation in general ; decreases heart rate and increases blood pressure - and alpha-1-activation is also very much so implicated in aggressive behavior - both in indices of fear-based aggression and paranoid-aggression as well as impulsive aggression...

..The Cold medicine Suda Fed P.E is also known to cause both childhood and adolescent aggression - and has implicated in elderly hostility as well {see here}.

A final, and perhaps more notable concept for some - is the irony behind the science above and how supposedly, many serial killers are impotent (!) (!!)...and ironically (or not) - alpha-1-activation is involved as a primary role in the pathophysiology of erectile dysfunction...both because of it's role in stress response and because it ramps up the nervous system to accommodate more 'serious tasks'...and if you really think about it - psychopaths are a bit 'too serious' and seem to thrive off of the vibe and occurrence of struggle and conflict. 

This still actually improves the low adrenaline hypothesis as well - if psychopaths and sociopaths as well as borderline violent criminals exhibit increased alpha-1 and 2 activation - then they would display the characteristics of both a high and low adrenaline phenotype - while having a low heart rate..the alpha-2-activation keeps adrenaline at bay (this receptor keys down adrenaline production) - but when it does rise , it goes STRAIGHT for the volatile alpha-1-adrenergic receptors.


So I'd say we have pretty good evidence that these violent, callous members of society (and those locked up) have increased alpha-1-activation/alpha-2-activation.


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