A Drug That Curbs the Urge for Alcoholic Drinks is Here

by Monisha on  December 26, 2006 at 11:47 AM Research News
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A Drug That Curbs the Urge for Alcoholic Drinks is Here
Scientists from Australia have announced that they have discovered a drug that will curb craving for alcoholic drinks. This drug supposedly blocks the sensation of a" euphoric high" that is reached when drunk .

The research studied hypothalamus, the part of the brain where orexin, is produced .Orexin is a chemical that induces euphoria. A compound that effectively blocks the effect of orexin was developed by researchers from Howard Florey Institute in Melbourne. This compound was tested on rats that were regularly fed on alcohol and had developed a craving for alcohol.

Dr Andrew Lawrence, the team leader of the project opined that the results of the study were dramatic. Rats that had a craving for alcohol were given the newly developed compound. Amazingly, the rats stopped drinking alcohol when offered to them, after receiving this compound.

Dr Lawrence opined that the same principle could be made use of to treat alcoholics. The craving can be blocked if orexin is blocked.

This study may also prove beneficial to control binge eating and other eating disorders opined the researchers as both alcoholism and eating disorders trigger off similar effects in brain cells.

The researchers are now studying the pathways and circumstances that trigger a response from the orexin system.

Source: Medindia
MST

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