1. Visit this thread to beta-test StudySchedule.org. StudySchedule is a free nonprofit site that builds dynamic MCAT study schedules unique for your needs and timeline.
Check out the new Application Assistant, where you can calculate your LizzyM score, see how you rank compared to other applicants, and see a list of schools where similar students were accepted.

AAMC Guide Questions P/S #14

Discussion in 'MCAT Study Question Q&A' started by ED-RN2MD, Apr 20, 2017.

  1. SDN is made possible through member donations, sponsorships, and our volunteers. Learn about SDN's nonprofit mission.
  1. ED-RN2MD

    ED-RN2MD

    96
    95
    May 22, 2016
    This question is driving me crazy. If their supposed answer is correct, then why do people take suboxone??????

    This is from the AAMC Official guide questions, the Psych/Soc section.

    Question 14
    If heroin-dependent rats were injected with naloxone, the naloxone would:

    A. Reduce the reinforcing effects of heroin.
    This is incorrect because an endorphin antagonist will increase the reinforcing effects of heroin, not decrease these effects.

    B. Increase the reinforcing effects of heroin.
    This is correct. As naloxone is an endorphin antagonist (it inhibits the functioning of endorphins), it would increase the reinforcing effects of heroin such that heroin-dependent rats would be more likely to seek heroin.


    So, if the naloxone knocks off the heroin and prevents it from binding to the mu receptors, there are going to be NO reinforcing effects of the heroin.... That's my reasoning for choosing A.

    And btw, the passage gives no information about the short half-life of naloxone, nor the therapeutic dose, so I don't know whether to assume the rats are getting maintenance doses or a one time injection.

    I've pasted their reasoning for B being correct, but I can't agree with it.

    Can anyone steer me to think clearly about this?
     
  2. SDN Members don't see this ad. About the ads.
  3. aldol16

    aldol16

    3,365
    2,012
    Nov 1, 2015
    MDApps:
    Not an answer, but it would be odd if naloxone reinforced heroin. It's sold now as OTC medication for reversing opoid overdoses and EMTs regularly administer it to opoid overdose patients. It actually kills their high immediately. So if it actually has reinforcing effects, then that's not good...
     
  4. ED-RN2MD

    ED-RN2MD

    96
    95
    May 22, 2016
    Right!

    Maybe this is an error, then.
     
  5. freak7

    freak7 Stuck in a tacky hat

    2,906
    5,402
    Feb 16, 2016
    I don't think it is. I think the point of the answer is that since it kills the high, the patient/rat wouldn't get as big of a "payoff" from endorphins and stuff so they'd be more likely to seek out the drug to achieve that payoff.

    It's not like naloxone makes them crave more heroin or makes you addicted to it. It's just that the psychological phenomenon is called reinforcement.
     
  6. aldol16

    aldol16

    3,365
    2,012
    Nov 1, 2015
    MDApps:
    Did you read the AAMC explanation quoted above? "heroin-dependent rats would be more likely to seek heroin."

    If you're more likely to seek out the drug afterwards to get that payoff, it's the definition of making you crave heroin.
     
  7. 5words

    5words

    335
    50
    Dec 31, 2016
    Which is true and exactly the concept that this question is testing. So, the question is testing whether or not the examine understand the definition of "reinforcement" in the context of Psychology, which is any type of action/event that increase the likelihood that a particular behavior will be repeated. By giving the rat the drug, it will make them crave for heroin, thus re-inforcing (in the context of psychology, increase the likehood) that the rat will consume more heroin. Because, the behavior is being repeated (craving in this case), the MCAT sees it as a reinforcement. Although, i will agree with you that it doesnt per say increase the effects of heroin but rather reinforces the consumption of it.

    With
    Reinforcement being defined as anything that increase the likelihood of a particular behavior being repeated.
     
  8. freak7

    freak7 Stuck in a tacky hat

    2,906
    5,402
    Feb 16, 2016
    I think we're just talking past one another.
     
  9. aldol16

    aldol16

    3,365
    2,012
    Nov 1, 2015
    MDApps:
    The term "reinforcement" is not in dispute. I wasn't even talking about the effects of heroin. Here's what I was saying. If naxolone reinforces consumption of heroin, why would we administer it to opioid patients? Sure, it saves them from ODs. But according to this answer it will also reinforce their heroin-seeking behavior, which is a severe negative consequence of the drug - save them today but make it more likely that they'll OD tomorrow.

    In fact, naxolone has been shown to block the reinforcement of heroin administration (Naloxone blocks reinforcement but not motivation in an operant runway model of heroin-seeking behavior. - PubMed - NCBI).
     
    5words likes this.
  10. aldol16

    aldol16

    3,365
    2,012
    Nov 1, 2015
    MDApps:
    I don't think so - you're saying that naxolone doesn't make you crave more heroin. The answer says precisely the opposite - it makes rats seek out heroin.
     
  11. freak7

    freak7 Stuck in a tacky hat

    2,906
    5,402
    Feb 16, 2016
    I'm saying that if a rat had never been treated with heroin in the first place then treating it with naloxone wouldn't all of a sudden make the rat seek out heroin. Naloxone only reinforces the behavior when given heroin, which is what I meant by:
    Maybe I wasn't being very clear so I apologize. I probably should've omitted the word "more" before heroin.
     
  12. aldol16

    aldol16

    3,365
    2,012
    Nov 1, 2015
    MDApps:
    Okay, I understand your point now. My contention is not with the definition of reinforcement - it's that reinforcement of heroin-seeking behavior occurs at all because we use Narcan to treat opioiod patients and that's not good if we're actually causing them to seek out more heroin. Also see article I posted above.
     
  13. 5words

    5words

    335
    50
    Dec 31, 2016
    I agree with you, because the question was a bit weird, but we cant say that AAMC is wrong, or can we?
     
  14. freak7

    freak7 Stuck in a tacky hat

    2,906
    5,402
    Feb 16, 2016
    I mean maybe, but I think the value of the patient not dying from OD is greater than the risk of having them seek out more heroin. Hopefully just being treated for an OD in the first place is enough to scare them into some type of treatment or something. Not saying it'll work, but I think there are definitely other factors in play than naloxone's reinforcing properties.
     
  15. aldol16

    aldol16

    3,365
    2,012
    Nov 1, 2015
    MDApps:
    The point is that it does not actually reinforce heroin-seeking behavior. Saving them from OD does nothing but delay the problem if it's going to reinforce the behavior leading to OD in the first place. As evident, naxolone doesn't actually reinforce heroin-seeking behavior.
     

Share This Page