Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New leads on the causes of alcoholism

05.04.2011
In order to develop new medications for alcoholism, researchers need to understand how alcohol acts on the brain’s reward system.

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.”

For more information, please contact:
Researcher PeiPei Chau, Department of Psychiatry and Neurochemistry, Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Sahlgrenska Academy, tel: +46 (0)31 786 3919, mobile: +46 (0)707 290 250, e-mail: peipei.chau@neuro.gu.se
Journal: Addiction Biology
Authors: Ericson M, Chau P, Clarke RB, Adermark L, Söderpalm B. (2011).
Title: Rising taurine and ethanol concentrations in nucleus accumbens interact to produce dopamine release after ethanol administration.

http://hdl.handle.net/2077/24092 - Thesis

Helena Aaberg | idw
Further information:
http://www.gu.se

Further reports about: Alcoholism Neurochemistry glycine receptor

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Norovirus evades immune system by hiding out in rare gut cells
12.10.2017 | University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

nachricht Flexible sensors can detect movement in GI tract
11.10.2017 | Massachusetts Institute of Technology

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Ocean atmosphere rife with microbes

17.10.2017 | Life Sciences

Neutrons observe vitamin B6-dependent enzyme activity useful for drug development

17.10.2017 | Life Sciences

NASA finds newly formed tropical storm lan over open waters

17.10.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>