Thursday, May 3, 2007

Pachyderms in the Irish Mist

Here is a photo of your humble moderator at the podium at the Getty expounding briefly on the links between Alcohol Withdrawal Delerium and the work of Tim Hawkinson. Here is a portion of my address. (Photo by J. Chertkow)

"Zoopsia is a rarely used clinical psychiatric term referring to animal hallucinations during severe alcohol withdrawal – a symptom of Alcohol Withdrawal Delirium or delirium tremens. This very serious condition -- which can include sleep disturbance, heart palpitations, disorientation, sweating, panic attacks, multisensory hallucinations, seizures, and ultimately death – is thought to result from the desensitization of the nervous system to inhibitory neurotransmitter Gamma-aminobutyric acid or GABA, and typically affects heavy-drinking long term alcoholics. While literature pertaining directly to this specific symptom is surprisingly rare, I managed to track down a film segment from the early 1940s documenting a particularly severe incident of alcohol-induced Zoopsia. [Roll Clip]"

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