Maria de Lourdes Bastos

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Paraquat dichloride (methyl viologen; PQ) is an effective and widely used herbicide that has a proven safety record when appropriately applied to eliminate weeds. However, over the last decades, there have been numerous fatalities, mainly caused by accidental or voluntary ingestion. PQ poisoning is an extremely frustrating condition to manage clinically,(More)
“Ecstasy” [(±)-3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine, MDMA, XTC, X, E] is a psychoactive recreational hallucinogenic substance and a major worldwide drug of abuse. Several reports raised the concern that MDMA has the ability to induce neurotoxic effects both in laboratory animals and humans. Despite more than two decades of research, the mechanisms by which(More)
Studies on 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine ("ecstasy")-induced neurotoxicity mainly focus on damage of serotonergic terminals. Less attention has been given to neuronal cell death produced by 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine and other amphetamines in areas including the cortex, striatum and thalamus. In the present study we investigated(More)
3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA or "ecstasy"), is a widely abused, psychoactive recreational drug that is known to induce neurotoxic effects. Human and rat hepatic metabolism of MDMA involves N-demethylation to 3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA), which is also a drug of abuse. MDMA and MDA are O-demethylenated to N-methyl-alpha-methyldopamine(More)
Amphetamines represent a class of psychotropic compounds, widely abused for their stimulant, euphoric, anorectic, and, in some cases, emphathogenic, entactogenic, and hallucinogenic properties. These compounds derive from the β-phenylethylamine core structure and are kinetically and dynamically characterized by easily crossing the blood–brain barrier, to(More)
For centuries, ‘khat sessions’ have played a key role in the social and cultural traditions among several communities around Saudi Arabia and most East African countries. The identification of cathinone as the main psychoactive compound of khat leaves, exhibiting amphetamine-like pharmacological properties, resulted in the synthesis of several derivatives(More)
Synthetic drugs are among the most commonly abused drugs in the world. This abuse is widespread among young people, especially in the dance club and rave scenes. Over the last several years, piperazine derived drugs have appeared, mainly available via the internet, and sold as ecstasy pills or under the names of "Frenzy", "Bliss", "Charge", "Herbal(More)
Parkinson's disease (PD) is a multifactorial chronic progressive neurodegenerative disease influenced by age, and by genetic and environmental factors. The role of genetic predisposition in PD has been increasingly acknowledged and a number of relevant genes have been identified (e.g., genes encoding alpha-synuclein, parkin, and dardarin), while the search(More)
Centaurium erythraea Rafin. (Gentianaceae) has long been used in traditional medicine. This plant contains considerable amounts of polyphenolic compounds, namely, xanthones and phenolic acids as the main constituents. Because phenolic groups exhibit activity as radical scavengers and/or metal chelators, this study evaluated the superoxide radical scavenging(More)
Pathologic heart conditions, particularly heart failure (HF) and ischemia-reperfusion (I/R) injury, are characterized by sustained elevation of plasma and interstitial catecholamine levels, as well as by the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and reactive nitrogen species (RNS). Despite the continuous and extensive research on catecholamines since(More)