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Thursday, April 26, 2018

Role of Norepinephrine in Euphoria Produced by Stimulants (Norepinephrine Role in Euphoric Stimulants)

Norepinephrine is a monoamine neurotransmitter which (normally) is converted FROM Dopamine with the help of an enzyme called "Dopamine-Beta-Hydroxylase" or DBH. It plays a central role in Attention, Awareness, Logical Thought & Common Sense awareness as well as specifically; sensory perception and functional integration of visual detail into Episodic and Long-Term Memory. 

As well as processing of Auditory Stimuli to produce either "Pleasurable" or "Irritable" responses to such stimuli.

Thus, low levels of Norepinephrine are often associated with a specific PERCEPTUAL Disturbance, which may present differently depending on the Dopamine level.

A HIGH Dopamine but LOW Norepinephrine State typically presents with...

  1. Changes in Mood; typically low Arousal and Depressed mood due to disorganized thought process and low blood pressure.
  2. Thrill Seeking and other 'adrenaline-junkie' behaviors.
  3. Suspiciousness of others (Paranoia) - although this can occur with LOW Dopamine and HIGH Norepinephrine / Adrenaline as well.
  4. Delusions; of varying content, but usually SPECIFIC.
  5. Depression/Anhedonia along with OCD-Symptoms.
*Description of this Type*
Mike is a compulsive hoarder with low willpower to return to his former self. He does not pay attention to the words of others and yet frequently talks out of line himself. He is impulsive and has a seemingly unretractable habit - which stems largely from a lack of environmental awareness and self-control. He barely showers and seems to appear Depressed with a lack of normal Energy (undedicated to non-Compulsive tasks). He has a lack of Empathy and his motivations are hardly reasonable. He has no realistic ambitions (such as College, post-grad or normal work).

As a Child, he was diagnosed as many things: Autistic, Asberger's, Obsessive-Compulsive, Bipolar, Borderline, Manic-Depressive and Antisocial Personality.

This type fits the Low Norepinephrine, High Dopamine type - however, it does not always present like this...and the problem is not so much the HIGH Dopamine, but the LOW Norepinephrine; which causes lack of 'logical thought' and realistic activities.

Further reasoning: Self-Control and Self-Awareness are both Norepinephrine-dependent processes; thus low norepinephrine is more often than not, a cause of Impulsivity and recklessness, versus low serotonin, which more often than not, simply causes "impatience" or intolerance - when SUPER low.

Other Aspects: In some cases, the central issue that CAUSES the low Norepinephrine, is LOW Histamine levels. Histamine reduces excess Dopamine in the Brain and stabilizes the Brain and can play a role in PREVENTING irrational and Compulsive behaviors [!].

Histamine is thus essentially, an "anti-psychotic" neurotransmitter that "regulates" Dopamine and allows for normal and sufficient Norepinephrine release.

A LOW Dopamine + Low Norepinephrine State is more Severe and presents like this...

  1. Severe Depression and loss of Interest (Anhedonia).
  2. Lack of Motivation.
  3. Lack of Emotions.
  4. Movement Disorders.
  5. Lack of Ambition, Zest, Awareness.
  6. Narcolepsy-like Symptoms; idiopathic hypersomnia; excessive tiredness.
Mark has been Depressed most of his childhood Life, despite having ample Opportunities and a favorable upbringing and environment, he just can't seem to shake his lack of Motivation and lack of clear-headedness. He frequently has LOW Blood Pressure, which sometimes fluctuates and becomes HIGH, without explanation.

(in Reality, low levels of Dopamine can CAUSE High Blood Pressure by causing too much Sympathetic Nervous Activity)

He has hardly any appetite, but this sometimes fluctuates to craving Sweet and especially SALTY foods. When he is 'hungry'
, he has no control over his food intake. He indulges 'junk' foods in attempt to "feel OK" or "feel better" - but this effect barely lasts. As a result, Mark quickly returns to his Depressed self, sometimes even MORE Depressed, after eating his favorite 'junk' food.

He remains neutral, passive and frustrated in his Daily Life. 

He typically is pessimistic, and everything is an "Ah well" or "hope it kills me".

...As an Adult, Mark fails to find Employment nor to complete his form for disability. Even with EXTENSIVE Counseling and help from Family Members, he barely finishes a single task.

...This fits the description of a Low Dopamine, Low Norepinephrine type to a tee.


While Dopamine may play a role in *some* of the pleasurable effects of Stimulants, it mostly plays a role in the Aphrodisiac and Motivational effects - whereas the "sensory euphoria" is actually Norepinephrine's role and the Attention-boosting effects, also mostly Norepinephrine.


Dopamine: Dopamine increases resting Motivation, motivation to "Reward", including Money or delectable foods, and Sex as well as obtaining an "ideal state" - that is, in relation to Career, Social Status and similar aspects. The thoughts are on Fire with Dopamine - and these "central rewards" are at the forefront of the Mind.

Dopamine is a "YES" type of feeling - like Electricity is running through the Veins and you feel Alive - but it doesn't last long, and the effects are MENTAL. 

That is - short-lived, and certainly Emotional - but not truly ECSTASY which is truly FELT TO THE CORE. No, Norepinephrine/Adrenaline is required for that.

Norepinephrine: Norepinephrine on the other hand is NOT the Brain racing to reward, but rather a concrete mindset, fully in attention to the Environment, not deviating from the task-at-hand, understanding and connecting with others, seeing COLORS and hearing Sounds with intense Pleasure...of course, too much Norepinephrine and that PLEASURE becomes irratibility. 

Essentially, Norepinephrine bridges the gap in the Brain and allows all external input and sensory input to be fully 'felt'. 

If gaining something in Life, would you want to truly ENJOY that something in all of its splendor, or just "mentally" feel it for a moment - and only Psychologically, without the true 'ENERGY' associated with that feeling - which is NOT a Dopamine-thing, but a Norepinephine thing.

The Bad: High-levels of Norepinephrine can produce as unusual, if not MORE unusual behavior than low one case, a Man who started taking the anti-depressant Medication "Reboxetine" which purely enhances norepinephrine levels - and NOTHING else, had a dramatic & unusual behavioral response; it made him RUN down the Street and spontaneously hide behind a Bush in utter fear [!]. Fear which was, uncalled for, unwarranted, without reason.

So as much as Norepinephrine STIMULATES the Logic part of the Brain, too much can also cause one to exaggerate their own feelings, including Fear - and even 'misread' negative faces...leading to unwarranted FEAR or AVOIDANCE responses.

...However, there is some evidence to support that this may actually be related to depletion of GABA levels, and not simply the Elevated Norepinephrine levels.


In/Tags: role of norepinephrine in euphoria, role of norepinephrine euphoria produced by stimulants, norepinephrine role in euphoric stimulants, norepinephrine amphetamine euphoria, norepinephrine in cocaine euphoria, role of norepinephrine in anhedonia.

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