Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Drug Has Potential To Prevent Alcoholics From Relapsing

Date:
August 2, 2008
Source:
Oregon Health & Science University
Summary:
An experimental drug that blocks the euphoric feelings associated with drinking may prevent alcoholics from relapsing. The finding, the result of a mouse study at Oregon Health & Science University, could lead to human clinical trials within the next year.

An experimental drug that blocks the euphoric feelings associated with drinking may prevent alcoholics from relapsing. The finding, the result of a mouse study at Oregon Health & Science University, could lead to human clinical trials within the next year.

Related Articles


"We showed we could block behavior in mice that resembles this increased euphoria even after the animals had been given a lot of alcohol," said Tamara Phillips, Ph.D., professor and vice chair of the behavioral neuroscience department at OHSU and a research scientist at the Portland Veterans Affairs Medical Center. "That's what you want in a treatment, because we don't get to people until after they become addicted to alcohol."

Earlier research has shown that some people's brains become sensitized as a result of chronic exposure to alcohol. This change in the brain does not subside after people quit drinking. So when they begin consuming alcohol again, "they get a bigger jolt," Phillips said.

Alcohol consumption causes the body to release a substance known as "corticotrophin-releasing factor" or CRF. It activates receptors in the brain. Phillips and her team determined that a brain receptor called CRF1 appears to be involved in this heightened pleasure sensation. They compared the responses of normal mice and mice bred without the CRF1 receptor to chronic doses of alcohol. Mice without the CRF1 receptor did not experience the euphoric jolt the normal mice demonstrated.

The research team also took normal mice with the CRF1 receptor and exposed them to chronic doses of alcohol. Before testing for the euphoric response, the researchers gave the mice an experimental drug called CP 154,526 – developed by Pfizer – which prevents CRF from reaching the brain receptor. This group of mice also did not experience the heightened reaction.

Phillips' study recently was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of the Sciences. The results may be particularly applicable to stress-induced relapse. That's because the CRF1 receptor also triggers the body's response to stress.

This could have implications for PTSD patients. "I think if you block this receptor, you might be able to decrease drinking in response to PTSD," Phillips said.

The next step is testing CP 154,526 to see if it is safe for use in humans. If it clears that hurdle, researchers will start human trials to determine if the drug can prevent alcoholic relapse.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Oregon Health & Science University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Oregon Health & Science University. "Drug Has Potential To Prevent Alcoholics From Relapsing." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 August 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080730175518.htm>.
Oregon Health & Science University. (2008, August 2). Drug Has Potential To Prevent Alcoholics From Relapsing. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 1, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080730175518.htm
Oregon Health & Science University. "Drug Has Potential To Prevent Alcoholics From Relapsing." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080730175518.htm (accessed February 1, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

NFL Concussions Down; Still on Parents' Minds

NFL Concussions Down; Still on Parents' Minds

AP (Jan. 30, 2015) The NFL announced this week that the number of game concussions dropped by a quarter over last season. Still, the dangers of the sport still weigh on players, and parents&apos; minds. (Jan. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Shows Newborn Chicks Count From Left to Right Just Like Humans

Study Shows Newborn Chicks Count From Left to Right Just Like Humans

Buzz60 (Jan. 30, 2015) Researchers for the first time identified human&apos;s innate preference for associating low and high numbers with the left and right respectively in another species. Jen Markham (@jenmarkham) explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Best Mood Elevating, Feel Good Shakes & Smoothies

Best Mood Elevating, Feel Good Shakes & Smoothies

Buzz60 (Jan. 30, 2015) You can elevate your mood by having a meal in a glass. Fitness and nutrition expert John Basedow (@JohnBasedow) offers the best &apos;feel good&apos; smoothies and shakes chock full of depression-relieving ingredients...including apples, berries, lemons, cucumbers, papaya, kiwi, spinach, kale, whey protein, matcha, ginger, turmeric and cinnamon. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Poll Says Firstborn Is Responsible, Youngest Is Funnier

Poll Says Firstborn Is Responsible, Youngest Is Funnier

Newsy (Jan. 30, 2015) According to a poll out of the U.K., eldest siblings feel more responsible and successful than their younger siblings. Video provided by Newsy
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