Daniel E. Rusyniak, M.D.

Professor, Emergency Medicine
Adjunct Professor, Pharmacology & Toxicology
Adjunct Associate Professor, Neurology

M.D. Wake Forest University School of Medicine (1996)
Emergency Medicine Residency, IU School of Medicine (1999)
Medical Toxicology Fellowship, IU School of Medicine (2001)

How do amphetamines cause hyperthermia?
Persons abusing amphetamines can develop fatal hyperthermia. Our lab has focused on understanding the neural pathways involved in mediating physiologic and behavioral responses to amphetamines like ecstasy and methamphetamine. When animals and humans are given amphetamines in a warm environment they can exert themselves longer, but do so at the risk of developing heat stroke. A question our lab has sought to address is why don’t they simply stop running? Normally athletes and animals develop exhaustion when their body reaches a critical temperature and they stop exercising. Amphetamines prevent this exhaustion. This interesting link has led us to focus our research on discovering how amphetamines prevent exhaustion, and what role this plays in exertional heat stroke. We believe that identifying the neural circuitry mediating locomotion and exhaustion will provide the necessary framework for not only predicting who may be at risk for heat stroke, but also for designing therapies which will allow the effective and safe treatment of exhaustion.

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Recent Publications:  

Zaretsky DV, Zaretskaia MV, Durant PJ, Rusyniak DE, Inhibition of the dorsomedial hypothalamus, but not the medullary raphe pallidus, decreases hyperthermia and mortality from MDMA given in a warm environment. Pharm Res Perspect. 2:e00031, 2014. PMCID: 24765530.

Banks ML, Worst TJ, Rusyniak DE, Sprague JE. Synthetic Cathinones (“Bath Salts”), J Emerg Med, 46:632-642, 2014. PMID:24565885.

Zaretsky DV, Zaretskaia MV, DiMicco JA, Durant PJ, Ross CT, Rusyniak DE, Independent of 5-HT1A receptors, neurons in the paraventricular hypothalamus mediate ACTH responses to MDMA, Neurosci Letters. 555:42-46, 2013. PMID:23933156

Rusyniak DE, Zaretsky DV, Zaretskaia MV, Durant PH, DiMicco JA, The orexin-1 receptor antagonist SB-334867 decreases sympathetic responses to a moderate dose of methamphetamine and stress, Physiol Behav. 107:743-750, 2012. PMCID: 22361264.

Zaretsky DV, Zaretskaia MV, Rusyniak DE, DiMicco JA, Stress-free microinjection in conscious rats, J Neurosci Methods, 199:199-207, 2011. PMCID: 21600924.

Rusyniak DE, Zaretsky DV, Zaretskaia MV, DiMicco JA, The role of Orexin-1 receptors in physiologic responses evoked by microinjection of PgE2 or muscimol into the medial preoptic area, Neuroscience Letters. 498:162-166, 2011. PMCID: 21596094.


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