The choroid plexus (CP), a highly vascularized organ that lines the ventricles of the brain, serves several important functions that maintain homeostasis of the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) surrounding the brain and protects the brain from harm by acting as part of the blood-cerebrospinal fluid barrier. Dysfunction in CP morphology and function has recently been associated with various conditions such as stroke, aging, neoplasms, hydrocephalus, Alzheimer’s disease, depression, and psychosis. This systematic review explores the morphological changes in the CP associated with substance abuse, which poses a significant problem worldwide. A comprehensive literature search was performed to find relevant articles using PubMed, Web of Science, MEDLINE, and Google Scholar. Commonly abused substances such as alcohol, cocaine, cannabis, methamphetamine/amphetamine, opioids, hallucinogens, tobacco/nicotine were searched, however, only studies studying CP morphological changes from alcohol, cocaine, methamphetamine, tobacco/nicotine, and opioids (morphine) were found. The results showcase morphological and ultrastructural changes of the CP that may be observed in the context of the previously mentioned substances and each author’s proposed reasoning for how the CP is affected. This highlights the vulnerability of the CP to substance use and its potential impact on CSF production, CSF homeostasis, and brain development. Further research is necessary to understand these effects, which may provide insight into pathological mechanisms associated with substance use and contribute to developing targeted treatments and prevention.
Pham, Angelica and Francis, Alan, "The effect of substance use on choroid plexus morphology and ultrastructure: a systematic review" (2023). MEDI 8127 Scholarly Activities Pre-Clerkship. 43.
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