May 27, 2020

One Step Closer to a New Drug for Alcohol Dependence

New dopamine stabilizer shows promise for providing relief from alcohol dependence. 

By Mary Sauer
 
Good news for individuals struggling with alcohol dependence from Karolinska Institutet and the Sahlgrenska Academy in Sweden. A medication, OSU6162, labeled a dopamine stabilizer, has been found to decrease alcohol cravings in those with alcohol addictions in two separate studies by these Swedish universities. 
 
Their study is based on the knowledge that human brains so often act in their best interest. In the case of alcohol consumption, the increased dopamine present after drinking and the pleasurable feelings experienced as a result of dopamine are largely held responsible for cravings and the eventual formation of an addiction.
 
In their study, OSU6162 was able to stabilize dopamine levels present in the reward system in the brain of the rats being studied who had been given alcohol over long periods of time. Although the results of this study are promising, researchers call for more research before they are able to market OSU6162 as a drug for relieving alcohol dependence.
 

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