A new therapeutic may help reverse chemical imbalances made to the brain by habitual drug use and could one day help recovering drug addicts avoid future drug use.
Researchers from The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston developed and tested a treatment on rats and found it effective in reducing the animals’ cravings. Their findings are in the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry.
When someone habitually misuses drugs, their brain chemistry is changed in ways that make it harder for them to quit taking drugs despite negative consequences. Once someone has developed this brain disorder, their mind pays sharper attention to cues that encourage drug use, making it harder for them to abstain.
Serotonin, a brain chemical that transmits information between neural regions, is a key player in these changes. There are currently no medications available to correct this chemical imbalance.
UTMB pharmacology and toxicology professors Jia Zhou, Kathryn Cunningham and their colleagues found that the serotonin 2C receptors in drug addicts do not work as well as they should. They designed, synthesized and pharmacologically evaluated a series of small molecule therapeutics designed to restore the weakened signaling.
The researchers trained rats to press on a lever for cocaine infusions at certain light cues. Once the rats learned this cocaine-seeking behavior, half of them received the most promising therapeutic and the other half received only saline.
The animals treated with the new therapeutic pressed the lever for cocaine far fewer times than the saline-treated control animals, even when reinforced with the cocaine-associated light cues.
“We are the first to show that a serotonin 2C receptor therapeutic of this type can be successfully used to decrease drug-seeking behaviors,” said Cunningham, the director of UTMB’s Center for Addiction Research. “Our findings are especially exciting because in addition to someday helping people to recover from drug addiction, impaired functioning of the serotonin 2C receptor is also thought to contribute to other chronic health issues such as depression, impulsivity disorders, obesity and schizophrenia.”
“We will continue to optimize the chemical structure and effectiveness of our new therapeutic and conduct safety testing in cellular and animal studies,” said Zhou. “We look forward to the future when we can begin clinical trials so that this therapeutic can begin to help people free themselves from drug addiction and other health issues.”
The Latest on: Drug addiction
via Google News
The Latest on: Drug addiction
- Drug, substance abuse specialist plans talk on October 7, 2018 at 12:11 am
Drug and substance prevention specialist and youth speaker Ray Lozano will give a presentation at 6:30 p.m. Monday at CrossPoint Alliance Church, 1330 Powers Ave., Lewiston. AdChoices 1 2 3 YOU MAY LI... […]
- Program to cover drug abuse, teen issues, pain and marijuana on October 6, 2018 at 11:22 pm
Drug addiction is often described as an "equal opportunity" problem, as it can affect anyone from any background. While addiction itself doesn't discriminate, disparities do exist in today's addiction ... […]
- U.S. Opioid Addiction Market & Competitive Landscape - 2018 - ResearchAndMarkets.com on October 6, 2018 at 7:58 am
This study accurately estimates and forecast Opioid Addiction market size and drug sales. This research also provid […]
- County Seeks Public Input on Services for Mental Illness, Drug Addiction, Homelessness on October 5, 2018 at 8:55 pm
A series of nine, two-hour forums hosted by the County Health and Human Services Agency will be taking place throughout the region to gather public input about the types of local services needed ... […]
- Many Young Drug Abusers Not Tested for Hepatitis C, Study Finds on October 5, 2018 at 6:17 pm
"Screening for [opioid addiction] and other drug use, and then testing for hepatitis C in those at high risk, can help us do a better job of eliminating this serious infection, especially now that ver... […]
- GUEST OP-ED: Focus should be on helping those struggling with drug addiction on October 5, 2018 at 9:35 am
It's easy to boil Kentucky's opioid crisis down to numbers, especially with ones as staggering as 1,500 deaths last year in the Commonwealth -- a figure up 11 percentfrom 2016, with 426 deaths alone i... […]
- On the road to recovery from drug and alcohol addiction: How employment and relationships are key to success on October 4, 2018 at 6:11 am
Substance use disorders result in significant economic and healthcare burdens. Therapeutic communities are treatments used to aid in successful recovery. A recent study published in BMC Psychiatry sug... […]
- Muskegon County students receive lesson about drug abuse on October 4, 2018 at 4:04 am
MUSKEGON, Mich. - Students from two Muskegon County schools learned about the dangers of drug abuse. On Thursday, Oct. 4, 2018, Muskegon County Prosecutor D.J. Hilson will take the stage with former d... […]
- Rock County groups promote opioid addiction resources at Rock for Recovery on October 4, 2018 at 2:00 am
The event, which took place at the Craig Center on the Rock County 4-H Fairgrounds, was sponsored by the Rock County Human Services Department and the Rock County Rx Drug Abuse and Heroin Task Force. ... […]
via Bing News