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Fentanyl Overdoses Can Cause Amnesia

by Wochit 05 February 2018
Fentanyl Overdoses Can Cause Amnesia

Starting in 2015, doctors in Massachusetts began noticing a wave of typically young patients coming down with unexplained, sometimes permanent short-term memory loss. The only connection found between these patients was a history of recreational drugs; either heroin or cocaine. But these drugs almost never cause the kind of brain damage that results in amnesia, leading the doctors to believe something else had to explain why so many people were losing their memories at the same time. A new case report, published today in the Annals of Internal Medicine, might solve the puzzle once and for all: It suggests that a powerful, previously rare opioid—fentanyl—is most responsible for the symptoms.

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