Naltrexone and acamprosate are drugs that are supposed to suppress the desire for a drink. The researcher investigated which patient characteristics were responsible for predicting the drug that would work best.
Alcoholics have an overwhelming urge to drink. That desire not only facilitates alcohol addiction but also ensures that the habit is difficult to kick. There are two drugs that can suppress this longing for alcohol: naltrexone works via the reward system in the brain and acamprosate via the stress system. However, they do not work for everybody. The question was whether patient characteristics can predict which drug works best for which patient.
One hundred and fifty-six alcoholics were willing to participate in Ootemans' study. The participants’ desire to drink was aroused by, for example, placing a glass of their favourite drink on the table. Meanwhile they were posed questions about their urge for a drink and their physical reactions were measured, such as heart rate and sweat production. Genetic characteristics were also determined. After a month of treatment with naltrexone, acamprosate or a placebo the effect of clinical, physiological or genetic differences on the success of the treatment was examined.
Clinical patient characteristics were found to be a poor predictor of whether someone would respond best to acamprosate or naltrexone. Biological and genetic characteristics could, however, predict this. People who started to sweat profusely during the experiment, responded better to acamprosate, whereas people who sweated less profusely responded better to naltrexone. Further genes which code for certain receptors in the brain predicted which drug would be successful for a patient. In particular, the genes that code for the mu-opioid receptor, the dopamine D2 receptor and a gaba receptor were found to be good predictors. This might be because these genes are closely associated with the causes of addiction.
The question is whether these same results will be found if longer term relapse is examined. It is expected that in particular the highly-promising genetic characteristics will be used for a more effective allocation of alcoholics to different treatments.
Kim van den Wijngaard | alfa
Modern genetic sequencing tools give clearer picture of how corals are related
17.08.2017 | University of Washington
The irresistible fragrance of dying vinegar flies
16.08.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für chemische Ökologie
Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.
As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...
Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.
Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...
For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.
While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...
An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.
The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...
A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...
16.08.2017 | Event News
04.08.2017 | Event News
26.07.2017 | Event News
17.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
17.08.2017 | Earth Sciences
17.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy