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
Study tracks inner workings of the brain with new biosensor
16.08.2018 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn
Foods of the future
15.08.2018 | Georg-August-Universität Göttingen
Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...
Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.
When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...
Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.
Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....
Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.
Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...
Scientists have discovered that the electrical resistance of a copper-oxide compound depends on the magnetic field in a very unusual way -- a finding that could help direct the search for materials that can perfectly conduct electricity at room temperatur
What happens when really powerful magnets--capable of producing magnetic fields nearly two million times stronger than Earth's--are applied to materials that...
08.08.2018 | Event News
27.07.2018 | Event News
25.07.2018 | Event News
16.08.2018 | Earth Sciences
16.08.2018 | Life Sciences
16.08.2018 | Materials Sciences