Does a hypoxic injury from a non-fatal overdose lead to Alzheimer Disease?

Michael Voronkov, Benjamin Cocchiaro, Jeffry B. Stock

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Long term consequence of non-fatal overdose in people who use opioids are not well understood. The intermittent exposure to non-fatal overdose leads to a tauopathy that is often accompanied by abrogated neuroprotective response, abnormal amyloid processing and other pathologies. The scope and limitations of available literature are discussed including neuropathologies associated with opioid and overdose exposures, contributing comorbidities and proteinopathies. Contrasting postmortem data of overdose victims with animal models of opioid neuropathologies and hypoxic injury paints a picture distinct from other proteinopathies as well as effects of moderate opioid exposure. Furthermore the reported biochemical changes and potential targets for therapeutic intervention were mapped pointing to underlying imbalance between tau kinases and phosphatases that is characteristic of Alzheimer Disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number104936
JournalNeurochemistry International
StatePublished - Feb 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Cell Biology


  • Alzheimer disease
  • Non-fatal overdose
  • Opioid
  • PP2A
  • Tau phosphorylation


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