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Experimental investigations have shown that drug abuse initiates a cascade of pathophysiological events including toxic and hypoxic-ischemic injury on neurons, microglia and astrocytes, which finally lead to widespread disturbances in the brain. There are many reports about the psychiatric and neurologic effects of multiple drug abuse, but only a few clinical studies reporting possible correlation between recreational illicit drugs and gliomas.
In this paper we present the case of a 40 years-old male patient, with a long history (almost ten years) of multiple drug abuse, including cocaine, heroin, marijuana, ethnobotanical drugs and nicotine, who was diagnosed and surgically treated for a supratentorial secondary giant cell glioblastoma (sgcGB) developed in a diffuse astrocytoma NOS. Depending on the type of the illicit drug used by the patient and the moment of life he used them, the morphological features identified in the histological samples of our patient confirmed the gliomagenesis effect of chronic multiple drug abuse, but also its inhibitory effects on tumour cells growth. This was due to the fact that although the tumour was large in size and caused brain sub-falcine herniation, the patient reported the onset of seizures only late in the evolution.
In conclusion, the diagnosis of a brain tumour should take into consideration not only patient's clinical and imaging data, but also his lifestyle, especially his addiction to recreational drugs.