Biography:

In the past Kenneth Blum has collaborated on articles with John A. Wise and Gilbert R. Kaats. One of their most recent publications is Diethanolamine: A possible weak agonist-antagonist to ethanol. Which was published in journal European Journal of Pharmacology.

More information about Kenneth Blum research including statistics on their citations can be found on their Copernicus Academic profile page.

Kenneth Blum's Articles: (10)

Diethanolamine: A possible weak agonist-antagonist to ethanol

AbstractDiethanolamine-rutin (DR) and dimethoxyethylamine-rutin (DMR) were studied for their effects on ethanol-induced sleep time in mice. The DR-ethanol curve was shifted to the right of the saline-ethanol curve indicating a DR protection against ethanol-induced sleep. Blood- or brain-ethanol levels were approximately equal for both treatment conditions suggesting that DR's protective action was not due to a lower blood- or brain-ethanol level. In contrast, the DMR-ethanol curve was shifted to the left of the saline-ethanol curve indicating an enhancement of ethanol-induced sleep time. This action of DMR is probably not due to an effect on ethanol metabolism, since no significant difference was found in blood- or brain-ethanol levels in this group relative to the saline-ethanol mice. Attempts to demonstrate antidotal activity for DR were unsuccessful in that treatment of mice with DR after ethanol administration prolonged sleep time. The findings of this study suggest that diethanolamine acts a weak agonist-antagonist to ethanol in the CNS.

Short communicationSupersensitivity to norepinephrine induced by prenatal exposure to ethanol

AbstractPregnant random bred mice were treated with ethanol (ETOH) (0.33 g/kg) for 1 or 2 days prior to parturition. When compared to saline controls, ETOH-treated adult males had vasa deferentia that were supersensitive to norepinephrine (NE). Tissues from mice prenatally treated for 1 day with ETOH showed a decreased response to electrical stimulation whereas vas deferens obtained from 2-day-treated ethanol showed no significant difference in the response compared to that of controls. These findings indicate that prenatal exposure to ETOH can influence the subsequent sensitivity of the vas deferens to adrenergic stimulation. These changes appear to reflect effects of ETOH during critical periods.

ArticleEnkephalinase inhibition and precursor amino acid loading improves inpatient treatment of alcohol and polydrug abusers: Double-blind placebo-controlled study of the nutritional adjunct SAAVE™

AbstractWe investigated the effects of the amino acid and vitamin mixture SAAVE in inpatient, chemically-dependent subjects to evaluate the role of neurotransmitters in facilitating recovery and adjustment to a detoxified, sober state. SAAVE is formulated from amino acids that are precursors for neurotransmitters and neuromodulators thought to be involved in alcohol and drug seeking behavior. In a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized study of 62 alcoholics and polydrug abusers, SAAVE patients had a significantly reduced stress response as measured by the skin conductance level (SCL), and significantly improved Physical Scores and BESS Scores (behavioral, emotional, social and spiritual). After detoxification there was a six-fold decrease in AMA rates when comparing SAAVE vs. placebo groups. In this inpatient treatment experience SAAVE facilitated the rate of recovery and allowed patients to respond more fully and more quickly to the behavioral goals of the program, for example as measured by the BESS Score. The use of SAAVE to achieve enkephalinase inhibition and precursor amino acid loading in the acute inpatient treatment environment provides the practitioner with the potential ability to restore the neurochemical changes inherent to alcoholism and drug abuse. These findings increase our understanding of the clinically relevant neurobiological mechanisms which underlie compulsive disease.

Chapter 30 - Hypothesizing Major Depression as a Subset of Reward Deficiency Syndrome (RDS) Linked to Polymorphic Reward Genes: Considerations for Translational Medicine Approaches for Future Drug Development

AbstractWe hypothesize that major depressive disorder (MDD), especially anhedonia, (excluding bipolar) should be included as a subtype of Reward Deficiency Syndrome (RDS) following more extensive genetic and molecular neurobiological research. RDS, first coined by Blum in 1995, is a failure of the reward system that usually confers satisfaction, resulting in behaviors such as overeating, heavy cigarette smoking, drug and alcohol abuse (substance use disorder [SUD]), hoarding, internet addiction, gambling, and hyperactivity. RDS is caused by hypodopaminergia. We suggest that the inclusion of MDD within RDS will assist in more appropriate treatment in the addiction recovery community, whereby the goal of achieving dopamine stabilization or homeostasis will result in better clinical outcomes. One therapeutic technique to achieve this laudable goal is via epigenetic induction involving the administration of gene expression modulators that may have a positive impact on reversing hypodopaminergia, SUD, and anhedonia. We hereby encourage further research into dopaminergic homeostasis in SUD with MDD that will guide future drug development programs.

Changes in plasma carotenoid, alpha-tocopherol, and lipid peroxide levels in response to supplementation with concentrated fruit and vegetable extracts: a pilot study

AbstractStudies over the last two decades equating diet with chronic diseases have linked the highest consumption of mixed fruits and vegetables to a reduced risk of coronary heart disease (CHD), stroke, cataracts, and cancer at multiple sites. High levels of natural antioxidants, including the carotenoids, tocopherols, and ascorbic acid, appear to be responsible for these reductions in risk. However, long-term intervention studies to alter chronic disease outcomes have generally used a single nutrient such as beta-carotene at high doses, and results have been disappointing. Because antioxidants have multiple and synergistic interactions and also exhibit compartmentalization and tissue specificity, it appears desirable to use supplementation that increases blood levels while stimulating combinations of these chemoprotective substances in amounts more closely approximating amounts of mixed diets. This study measured carotenoid and tocopherol levels in human plasma after supplementation with dehydrated fruit and vegetable extracts (JuicePlus+ ™). Serum lipid peroxides were also measured to assess the effectiveness of supplementation in modifying oxidative processes. Fifteen healthy adults (10 women, 5 men; age range, 18 to 53 years) consumed supplements twice daily with meals for 28 days, with fasting plasma and serum samples taken at baseline and 7, 14, and 28 days. After 28 days, plasma antioxidant levels increased significantly: beta-carotene, 510%; alpha-carotene, 119%; lutein/zeaxanthin, 44%; lycopene, 2046%; and alpha-tocopherol, 58%. Serum lipid peroxides decreased fourfold after 7 days and remained significantly lower than baseline at 28 days (baseline, 16.85 ± 16.91 μmol/mL; 28 days, 4.22 ± 3.78 μmol/mL). Decreases in lipid peroxide levels were coincident with increases in carotenoids and alpha-tocopherol, and reflect functionally improved oxidative defense mechanisms. Because these bioactive compounds can act synergistically, the effect cannot be attributed to any one component, but it may reflect a combined mechanism of antioxidant defense. Marked increases in plasma levels of predominant dietary carotenoids and alpha-tocopherol in all subjects indicate that supplementation with fruit and vegetable concentrates may prove effective in future intervention studies.

Effects of chromium picolinate supplementation on body composition: a randomized, double-masked, placebo-controlled study

AbstractTo examine the effect of chromium picolinate (CrP) on body composition, a randomized, double-masked, placebo-controlled study was conducted. A total of 154 patients received either a placebo or 200 μg or 400 μg of CrP per day. Subjects were asked to consume at least two servings of a protein/carbohydrate nutritional drink a day that contained the different amounts of CrP. Subjects were free-living and were not provided with weight loss, dietary, or exercise guidance. Body composition was measured before and after the 72-day test period by using underwater testing (displacement method) with residual lung volumes determined by helium dilution. On completion of the posttest, a body composition improvement (BCI) index was calculated for each subject by adding the loss of body fat and gain in nonfat mass and subtracting fat gained and lean lost. Analysis of the prestudy data revealed that there were no significant differences in body composition between the three groups. After the test period, both the 200-μg and 400-μg groups had significantly higher positive changes in BCIs compared with placebo. A single-factor analysis of variance weighted linear trend was also highly significant. No significant differences in BCI were found between the 200- and 400-μg groups. Supplementation with a minimum of 200 μg/d of chromium (as CrP) can lead to significant improvement in body composition.

Clinical evidence for effectiveness of Phencal™ in maintaining weight loss in an open-label, controlled, 2-year study

AbstractOver a 2-year period we carried out a prospective analysis of 247 outpatients in a very-low-calorie fasting program. Subjects having difficulty attaining their desired weight or maintaining their desired weight constituted the experimental group. At 2 years, the experimental group that took the amino acid regimen of PhenCal™ compared with the non-PhenCal/Centrum™ vitamin control group showed a twofold decrease in percent overweight for both males and females; a 70% decrease in food cravings for females and 63% decrease for males; and a 66% decrease in binge eating for females and 41% decrease for males. Most importantly, the experimental group (PhenCal group) regained only 14.7% of the weight the lost during fasting while the control group (non-PhenCal group) regained 41.7% of the lost weight, and multiple regression modeling revealed that with PhenCal treatment, morbid obesity and binge eating score were significant predictors of weight gain after 2 years. In contrast, family history of chemical dependence was most closely associated, although not statistically significantly, with improved results with PhenCal. These data suggest that PhenCal may be an anti-obesity adjunct.

Research ArticlesUV Spectrophotometric Method for Determination of Phenacetin in Biological Specimens

AbstractA UV spectrophotometric procedure for determining phenacetin in biological specimens is described. The drug is extracted from biological material by ether and oxidized to a quinone product by cobaltic oxide. The primary metabolite of phenacetin, N-acetyl-p-aminophenol, is assayed by providing a salting-out step in the extraction process. Better than 90% of phenacetin added to urine and serum specimens in vitro at concentrations of 5–50 mcg./ml. was recovered. From homogenized tissue, 83% of added phenacetin was recovered.

Do dopaminergic gene polymorphisms affect mesolimbic reward activation of music listening response? Therapeutic impact on Reward Deficiency Syndrome (RDS)

SummaryUsing fMRI, Menon and Levitin [9] clearly found for the first time that listening to music strongly modulates activity in a network of mesolimbic structures involved in reward processing including the nucleus accumbens (NAc) and the ventral tegmental area (VTA), as well as the hypothalamus, and insula, which are thought to be involved in regulating autonomic and physiological responses to rewarding and emotional stimuli. Importantly, responses in the NAc and VTA were strongly correlated pointing to an association between dopamine release and NAc response to music. Listing to pleasant music induced a strong response and significant activation of the VTA-mediated interaction of the NAc with the hypothalamus, insula, and orbitofrontal cortex. Blum et al. [10] provided the first evidence that the dopamine D2 receptor gene (DRD2) Taq 1 A1 allele significantly associated with severe alcoholism whereby the author’s suggested that they found the first “reward gene” located in the mesolimbic system. The enhanced functional and effective connectivity between brain regions mediating reward, autonomic, and cognitive processing provides insight into understanding why listening to music is one of the most rewarding and pleasurable human experiences. However, little is known about why some people have a more or less powerful mesolimbic experience when they are listening to music. It is well-known that music may induce an endorphinergic response that is blocked by naloxone, a known opioid antagonist (Goldstein [19]). Opioid transmission in the NAc is associated with dopamine release in the VTA. Moreover, dopamine release in the VTA is linked to polymorphisms of the DRD2 gene and even attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), whereby carriers of the DRD2 A1 allele show a reduced NAc release of dopamine (DA). Thus it is conjectured that similar mechanisms in terms of adequate dopamine release and subsequent activation of reward circuitry by listening to music might also be affected by an individual’s D2 density in the VTA mediated interaction of the NAc. It is therefore hypothesized that carriers of DRD2 A1 allele may respond significantly differently to carriers of the DRD2 A2 genotype. In this regard, carriers of the D2 A1 allele have a blunted response to glucose and monetary rewards. In contrast powerful D2 agonists like bromocryptine show a heightened activation of the reward circuitry only in DRD2 A1 allele carriers. If music causes a powerful activation in spite of the DRD2 A1 allele due to a strong DA neuronal release which subsequently impinges on existing D2 receptors, then it is reasonable to assume that music is a strong indirect D2 agonist (by virtue of DA neuronal release in the NAc) and may have important therapeutic applicability in Reward Deficiency Syndrome (RDS) related behaviors including Substance Use Disorder (SUD). Ross et al. [18] found that music therapy appears to be a novel motivational tool in a severely impaired inpatient sample of patients with co-occurring mental illness and addiction.

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