Anatomy and Neuroscience - Research Publications

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    The effect of adolescent inhalant abuse on energy balance and growth
    Crossin, R ; Qama, A ; Andrews, ZB ; Lawrence, AJ ; Duncan, JR (JOHN WILEY & SONS LTD, 2019-08)
    The abuse of volatile solvents such as toluene is a significant public health concern, predominantly affecting adolescents. To date, inhalant abuse research has primarily focused on the central nervous system; however, inhalants also exert effects on other organ systems and processes, including metabolic function and energy balance. Adolescent inhalant abuse is characterized by a negative energy balance phenotype, with the peak period of abuse overlapping with the adolescent growth spurt. There are multiple components within the central and peripheral regulation of energy balance that may be affected by adolescent inhalant abuse, such as impaired metabolic signaling, decreased food intake, altered dietary preferences, disrupted glucose tolerance and insulin release, reduced adiposity and skeletal density, and adrenal hypertrophy. These effects may persist into abstinence and adulthood, and the long-term consequences of inhalant-induced metabolic dysfunction are currently unknown. The signs and symptoms resulting from chronic adolescent inhalant abuse may result in a propensity for the development of adult-onset metabolic disorders such as type 2 diabetes, however, further research investigating the long-term effects of inhalant abuse upon energy balance and metabolism are needed. This review addresses several aspects of the short- and long-term effects of inhalant abuse relating to energy and metabolic processes, including energy balance, intake and expenditure; dietary preferences and glycemic control; and the dysfunction of metabolic homeostasis through altered adipose tissue, bone, and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis function.
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    Adolescent inhalant abuse leads to other drug use and impaired growth; implications for diagnosis
    Crossin, R ; Cairney, S ; Lawrence, AJ ; Duncan, JR (WILEY, 2017-02)
    OBJECTIVE: Abuse of inhalants containing the volatile solvent toluene is a significant public health issue, especially for adolescent and Indigenous communities. Adolescent inhalant abuse can lead to chronic health issues and may initiate a trajectory towards further drug use. Identification of at-risk individuals is difficult and diagnostic tools are limited primarily to measurement of serum toluene. Our objective was to identify the effects of adolescent inhalant abuse on subsequent drug use and growth parameters, and to test the predictive power of growth parameters as a diagnostic measure for inhalant abuse. METHODS: We retrospectively analysed drug use and growth data from 118 Indigenous males; 86 chronically sniffed petrol as adolescents. RESULTS: Petrol sniffing was the earliest drug used (mean 13 years) and increased the likelihood and earlier use of other drugs. Petrol sniffing significantly impaired height and weight and was associated with meeting 'failure to thrive' criteria; growth diagnostically out-performed serum toluene. CONCLUSIONS: Adolescent inhalant abuse increases the risk for subsequent and earlier drug use. It also impairs growth such that individuals meet 'failure to thrive' criteria, representing an improved diagnostic model for inhalant abuse. Implications for Public Health: Improved diagnosis of adolescent inhalant abuse may lead to earlier detection and enhanced health outcomes.