I NEED OTHER HUMAN BEINGS IN ORDER TO BE HUMAN-WE ARE MADE FOR INTERDEPENDENCE. DESMOND TUTU
The success of this campaign depends on your interaction.
The purpose of this Forum is to share ideas, opinions, actions and connections. The internet has presented an opportunity for global communication between everyone in a way never before available. Use it. Create World Campaign for yourself, by interacting with others.
Hope in fight against alcoholism
Author: Helen Puttick, Health Correspondent, The Herald
Date: Tue Dec 26th 05:01:05 2006
December 26 2006
Scientists believe they have made a breakthrough in the fight against alcoholism after finding a way to stop addicts craving drink.
Researchers have managed to block a part of the brain which helps create the "high" experienced after alcohol.
Rats given drugs which targeted the group of cells, known as the orexin system, lost interest in alcohol despite being given free access.
It is hoped that the discovery could lead to the development of new medicines to help fight the scourge of problem drinking.
Dr Andrew Lawrence, who worked on the project with a team at the Howard Florey Institute in Melbourne, said: "In one experiment, rats that had alcohol freely available to them stopped drinking it after receiving the orexin blocker.
"In another experiment, rats that had gone through a detox programme and were then given the orexin blocking drug did not relapse into alcohol addition when they were reintroduced to an environment which they had been conditioned to associate with alcohol use."
Alcohol abuse is a growing problem around the world. Drink is now said to cause as much, if not more, death and disability as measles, malaria and tobacco. The problems of abuse and addiction are particularly acute in Scotland.
Figures released by the Scottish Parliament showed the death toll from drink-related liver disease had risen by nearly 60% in eight years.
Dr Harry Burns, Scotland's chief medical officer, said last month that the death rate from cirrhosis among men north of the border was now the worst in Europe and two-and-a-half times the level in England and Wales.
Orexin is in the area of the brain known as the hypothalamus and has already been implicated in the regulation of eating. But the experiments suggest it could have a significant role reinforcing alcohol's pleasurable effects.
He said: "Our research shows that alcohol addiction and eating disorders set off common triggers in the brain, so further investigations may uncover drug targets in the orexin system to treat both conditions."
The scientists are now engaged in further research.
Dr Lawrence said: "Before a therapeutic orexin-blocking drug can be developed, we need to ensure that it will be safe to use in the long-term and that issues surrounding a person's compliance in taking the drug are considered."
Bob Patton, health psychologist at the UK's National Addiction Centre, said there would be no "magic bullet" in the fight against alcoholism.
He said: "The results of this preliminary research are certainly interesting; however, more research is required to determine if it works on the complex human brain.
"We already know that [the drugs] Acamprosate and Naltrexone can help reduce cravings and promote abstinence.
"This study offers a further line of investigation.
"Of course there will be no magic bullet in the treatment of alcohol disorders; pharmacological treatments work in conjunction with psychological therapies to help address the symptoms of dependence.
"And in the future, work on the genetic basis for addiction could help to determine which treatments work best for particular individuals."
Respond to this message.