A previously unknown mechanism has been shown to block the rewarding effects of alcohol on the brain, reveals a thesis from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.
Research has shown that the glycine receptor in the brain’s reward system plays a role in the development of alcoholism. This receptor normally acts as a brake on the brain’s communication, and has previously been shown to be heavily implicated in the transmission of pain and in epilepsy. However, this thesis and previous results from the research group at the Department of Psychiatry and Neurochemistry have shown that the glycine receptor also plays a major role in alcoholism.
Acamprosate is found in an existing medicine for reducing relapses in alcoholics. Unfortunately, this type of medicine works for some patients only and there is a real need for new, more effective medication.
“We’ve chosen to clarify the role of acamprosate in the process and to find out whether this can help us understand how alcohol functions in the brain’s reward system,” says researcher PeiPei Chau from the Sahlgrenska Academy’s Department of Psychiatry and Neurochemistry.
In animal trials with rats, the researchers have seen that acamprosate activates the glycine receptors, so inhibiting the rewarding effects of alcohol, and that it is through this mechanism that acamprosate reduces alcohol consumption.
“We’ve identified a brand new mode of action in an existing medicine, and this helps us to understand better why alcohol dependency can arise in the brain,” says Chau. “Our results also consolidate the group’s previous results which showed that glycine receptors can play a major role in the development of new medicines to treat alcohol dependency.”
http://hdl.handle.net/2077/24092 - Thesis
Helena Aaberg | idw
Finnish research group discovers a new immune system regulator
23.02.2018 | University of Turku
Minimising risks of transplants
22.02.2018 | Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg
A newly developed laser technology has enabled physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (jointly run by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics) to generate attosecond bursts of high-energy photons of unprecedented intensity. This has made it possible to observe the interaction of multiple photons in a single such pulse with electrons in the inner orbital shell of an atom.
In order to observe the ultrafast electron motion in the inner shells of atoms with short light pulses, the pulses must not only be ultrashort, but very...
A group of researchers led by Andrea Cavalleri at the Max Planck Institute for Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) in Hamburg has demonstrated a new method enabling precise measurements of the interatomic forces that hold crystalline solids together. The paper Probing the Interatomic Potential of Solids by Strong-Field Nonlinear Phononics, published online in Nature, explains how a terahertz-frequency laser pulse can drive very large deformations of the crystal.
By measuring the highly unusual atomic trajectories under extreme electromagnetic transients, the MPSD group could reconstruct how rigid the atomic bonds are...
Quantum computers may one day solve algorithmic problems which even the biggest supercomputers today can’t manage. But how do you test a quantum computer to...
For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.
In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...
Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale
Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...
15.02.2018 | Event News
13.02.2018 | Event News
12.02.2018 | Event News
23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
23.02.2018 | Health and Medicine
23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy