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A presentation by: Gabriel Garcia Caillie Lawrie Jennifer Vanderhoof.

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Presentation on theme: "A presentation by: Gabriel Garcia Caillie Lawrie Jennifer Vanderhoof."— Presentation transcript:

1 A presentation by: Gabriel Garcia Caillie Lawrie Jennifer Vanderhoof

2 First found in modern times in the woody plant Brugmansia, which was discovered by Carl Linnaeus in 1753 in South America. In 1819 Meissner discovered that the active ingredients of these poisonous plants are alkaline and could be isolated by extraction techniques. Scopolamine has been used by many South American indigenous cultures in medical, and ritualistic practices for centuries. History and Background

3 Brugmansia is a small tree with long horn shaped flowers and small round seed pods. All parts of the Brugmansia are poisonous, especally the seeds and leaves. It's related to Datura, commonly call Angel's Trumpet or Moonflowers, which can be found throughout the United States and Mexico. Plant Information

4 Scopolamine is a secondary metabolite from the plant Brugmansia. Scopolamine is a type of tropane alkaloid. These alkaloids are what give scopolamine its toxic effect. Ingestion can cause an array of symptoms such as confusion, visual and auditory hallucinations, smooth muscle paralysis, and death. Common names include Scopolamine, scopa, Colombian devil's breath, levo- duboisine, Plant Information

5 Christina Pratt, the author of An Encyclopedia of Shamanism said, "These hallucinations are often characterized by complete loss of awareness that one is hallucinating, disconnection from reality, and amnesia of the episode.” As stated before, these symptoms resulted from drinking a cup of tea made from Brugmansia. Plant Information

6 Biosynthesis of Scopolomine Synthesis of scopolamine in Brugmansia begins with the amino acid ornthithine. The mechanism of synthesis is not fully understood. Evolutionary theory for the synthesis of such a toxin include evolving a line of defense on behalf of the plant against larvae and herbivores.

7 Mechanism: Biosynthesis of Scopolomine

8 In the past 100 years, it was used to treat addiction to drugs like heroin and cocaine. 2006 studies showed that Scopolamine reduced the symptoms of depression and its effects lasted for several days after use. It's commonly used by fishermen and scuba divers for its effectiveness against motion sickness. Chemotherapy patients also use it to deal with nausea associated with their chemptherapy Medical Uses

9 Scopolamine was mixed with morphine to produce and effect called "twilight sleep." It was given to women in labor to reduce pain but maintain consciousness. It has been tested as a topical treatment for various skin diseases, such as Aquagenic pruritus. Medical Uses

10 Scopolamine was used by early South American tribes for religious ceremonies as well as a tool for communication with their ancestors. In some South American cultures it was given to wives and slaves before they were buried alive with their dead lords. During the Medieval Times, it was used as a poison in sorcery and black magic. In addion, magicians used it for prophecy. Recreational Uses

11 In medical settings, Scopolamine is administered orally, subcutaneously, opthalmically, intravenously, or by a transdermal patch. When used for criminal purposes, it is typically used in a powdered form and is accidentally inhaled by an unsuspecting victim.. Administration

12 Scopolamine has great effects on the Central Nervous system due to its ability to cross the blood brain barrier. Scopolomine has muscarinic antagonist effects: it reduces the activity of a neurotransmitter called the muscarinic acetylcholine receptor. This neurotransmitter has a large effect on the parasympathetic nervous system. Site of Action

13 Dorsal hippocampus Intra-medial septum (MS)  site of NMDA receptor  amnesia can be induced when hippocampus is exposed to scopolomine  responsible for inducing amnesia when scopolomine is directly injected Possible sites for the mechanism of memory impairment: Site of Action

14 NMDA receptor (a glutamate receptor)  the NMDA receptor can increase memory when stimulated  Scopolomine is a competitive NMDA receptor antagonist Possible sites for the mechanism of memory impairment Site of Action

15 Targeted Receptors

16 Criminal Use During the 1950's, the U.S. Military tested scopolamine as a "truth serum" in project MKULTRA for interrogative purposes. Recently in criminal use, it has been used as a date-rape drug because it causes retrograde amnesia. There have been many reports of the drug used to induce a “zombie” state of mind in which involuntarily submit to any authority.

17 Criminal Use NR=1&v=8rx1fhdtj8g For additional information on the criminal use of scopolamine, feel free to view the two-part documentary linked below (copy and past the link). Although these cases have not been officially reported, it is nevertheless intriguing to know that such happenstances occur and that there may be some truth behind the stories

18 Citations: Bellows, A. (2005, December 22). The truth about truth serum. Retrieved from truth-about-truth-serum/ truth-about-truth-serum/ Duffy, R. (2008, July 23). Colombian devil's breath part 1 & 2. Retrieved from devil-s-breath-1-of-2 devil-s-breath-1-of-2 Multum, C. (2010, December 15). Scopolamine. Retrieved from

19 Citations: Fatemeh Khakpai, Mohammad Nasehi, Ali Haeri-Rohani, Akram Eidi, Mohammad Reza Zarrindast (2012 May 16). Scopolamine induced memory impairment; possible involvement of NMDA receptor mechanisms of dorsal hippocampus and/or septum. Retrieved from 2001787 Pratt, C. (2007). An encyclopedia of shamanism. (1 ed., Vol. 1-2). New York, NY: The Rosen Publishing Group, Inc.

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