Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Pivotal Breakthrough Made In Alcohol Addiction Treatment

Date:
June 12, 2008
Source:
University of Virginia Health System
Summary:
Remarkably, and for the first time, addiction experts report the results of a clinical trial whereby an effective therapeutic medication, topiramate, not only decreases heavy drinking but also diminishes the physical and psychosocial harm caused by alcohol dependence.

Alcoholism is a devastating disease in part because of the 'symptom' of heavy drinking but more so due to the extensive harm it causes physical organs, such as the heart and liver, as well as damage to an individual's psychosocial well-being that decreases quality of life.

Remarkably, and for the first time, addiction experts led by a University of Virginia Health System team report the results of a clinical trial whereby an effective therapeutic medication, topiramate, not only decreases heavy drinking but also diminishes the physical and psychosocial harm caused by alcohol dependence.

"What we've found is that topiramate treats the alcohol addiction, not just the 'symptom' of drinking," says lead author Professor Bankole Johnson, D.Sc., M.D., Ph.D., M.Phil., FRCPsych., chairman of the UVa Department of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences, of the nationwide 14-week trial involving 371 male and female diagnosed alcoholics.

Study results, published in the June 9 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine, indicate that topiramate was more efficacious than placebo in decreasing body mass index (BMI) and all liver enzymes including the log plasma -glutamyl-transferase ratio, which is the objective marker of heavy drinking.

Topiramate was considerably more efficacious than placebo in reducing both systolic and diastolic blood pressure by a mean difference of 9.70 mm Hg and 6.74 mm Hg, respectively. Topiramate also significantly lowered plasma cholesterol levels by an average of 16.4 mg/dL compared with a reduction of 5.7 mg/dL with placebo. Notably, these combined effects suggest that topiramate may decrease the risk of heart disease in alcohol dependent individuals.

"Many alcoholics have hypertension, and some receive anti-hypertensive medication, which can complicate their treatment for alcoholism," explains Johnson. "Because topiramate can reduce drinking substantially and decrease blood pressure significantly, this allows one medication to be given instead of several."

By decreasing liver enzymes and cholesterol levels, topiramate also may reduce the risk of fatty liver disease, which leads to cirrhosis -- a common consequence to end-stage liver disease leading to death in alcoholics.

Additionally, topiramate significantly contributed to a decline in obsessive thoughts and compulsions about using alcohol. Topiramate also had a greater quality of life improvement than placebo in general activities, leisure activities and household duties, as well as a reduction in sleep disturbances.

The Food and Drug Administration has approved topiramate for seizures and migraine headaches, but it is not currently approved for treating alcohol dependence. Ortho-McNeil Neurologics, Inc., manufactures topiramate and provided study funding.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Virginia Health System. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Virginia Health System. "Pivotal Breakthrough Made In Alcohol Addiction Treatment." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 June 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080609162049.htm>.
University of Virginia Health System. (2008, June 12). Pivotal Breakthrough Made In Alcohol Addiction Treatment. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080609162049.htm
University of Virginia Health System. "Pivotal Breakthrough Made In Alcohol Addiction Treatment." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080609162049.htm (accessed September 30, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Do Video Games Trump Brain Training For Cognitive Boosts?

Do Video Games Trump Brain Training For Cognitive Boosts?

Newsy (Sep. 29, 2014) More and more studies are showing positive benefits to playing video games, but the jury is still out on brain training programs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Your Spouse's Personality May Influence Your Earnings

Your Spouse's Personality May Influence Your Earnings

Newsy (Sep. 26, 2014) Research from Washington University suggest people with conscientious spouses have greater career success. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can A Blood Test Predict Psychosis Risk?

Can A Blood Test Predict Psychosis Risk?

Newsy (Sep. 26, 2014) Researchers say certain markers in the blood can predict risk of psychosis later in the life. The test can aid in early treatment for the condition. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Harpist Soothes Gorillas, Orangutans With Music

Harpist Soothes Gorillas, Orangutans With Music

AP (Sep. 25, 2014) Teri Tacheny, a harpist, has a loyal following of fans who appreciate her soothing music. Every month, gorillas, orangutans and monkeys amble down to hear her play at the Como Park Zoo in Minnesota. (Sept. 25) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins