Study: Mysterious Type of Amnesia Linked to Heroin, Opioid, and Fentanyl Overdose

By KM Diaz, | April 30, 2017

Fentanyl is 50 times more potent compared to heroin and also associated with at least 75 percent drug overdose cases in Massachusetts in 2016. (YouTube)

Fentanyl is 50 times more potent compared to heroin and also associated with at least 75 percent drug overdose cases in Massachusetts in 2016. (YouTube)

Last year, 14 people were diagnosed with a mysterious type of amnesia, and the 12 had a history of using opioid and heroin. The amnesia affects the ability of a person to form new memories. According to the health experts, this is the first time they have seen such cases.

Max Meehan, 27, from eastern Massachusetts, woke up and unable to create new memories after a night of drinking and using heroin. Buzzfeed News reports that Meehan belongs to the 14 people with mysterious amnesia, in which majority of the cases are linked to opioids and heroin usage.

Like Us on Facebook

The Massachusetts Department of Health asked the doctors to give the information of the patients with similar symptoms to further investigate the cases.

Jed Barash, the lead author of the study first discovered the cases of the mysterious type of amnesia. He says that overdose happens to those who have been abusing both drugs for years. That's why the 14 cases had an unusual pattern.

The amnesia seems to appear to in the hippocampus - region of the brain associated with memory - that receives insufficient or no blood flow at all. It is unclear how drug use prompted the condition, but health officials like Alfred DeMaria, Jr., an epidemiologist and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, believed that it is likely due to a particular type of synthetic opioids.

Among these drugs is fentanyl which is 50 times more potent compared to heroin and also associated with at least 75 percent drug overdose cases in Massachusetts in 2016. According to some reports, fentanyl overdose could narrow the blood and oxygen flow towards the brain that leads to hippocampus damage.

Fentanyl is also said to be the drug that killed the singer, Prince. This is a synthetic opiate that can be used as heroin replacement or pain killer. Sometimes, the drug is also prescribed to patients with cancer to deal with pain, because it is 50 to 100 times powerful than morphine and let the patients to feel anesthetized.

There are several health risks linked to fentanyl. It can be easily overdosed with the drug and it reacts to other prescription drugs. Some experts assume that the mysterious type of amnesia is likely due to the combination of various opioids to other drugs like stimulants. Also, the 14 patients are reportedly using amphetamines, benzodiazepines, and cocaine which can cause strange symptoms. 

©2018 Telegiz All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission
Real Time Analytics