Some sexual predators would be forced to use GHB to hypnotize their prey ... unfortunately. But in fact, as it works?
GHB or more scientifically hydroxybutyric acid is best known among the general public under the name of imaged "rape drug". This substance, however, is not new, having been synthesized in 1964 by Henri Laborite, the father of the first narcoleptic (Largactil).
Well known to the hospital for its hypnotic effects and anesthetic, it is also used to treat patients with narcolepsy, a disease characterized by a pathological exaggeration of the need to sleep.
Its use has also spread in a less legitimate among cultures in order to develop their muscle mass because of its action on the release of growth hormone.
So far, we do not know the mechanism of action of this drug at the center. We knew it existed naturally in the brain but at very low concentrations. Franco-British team has recently published in the Journal of Neuroscience (December 10, 2003) results showing that the physiological and behavioral effects of GHB are underpinned by the thalamus, a key structure of the brain involved in sleep.
More accurately and making the basic neurobiology, we can say that your brain works with two types of substances: some excite your neurons, making them more Zen. The action of GHB is precisely to disrupt the thalamus that delicate balance between excitatory and inhibitory substances. Accordingly, this loss of equilibrium leads to varying effects depending on the doses used.
At low doses, GHB has euphoric and disinheriting effects, which led to its use or purpose "recreational". Higher doses of GHB result in hypnosis associated with amnesia or designation of "date rape drug."
Finally, uncontrolled consumption involves significant risk of toxicity. High doses can cause respiratory depression that can lead to coma.