Type 2 Diabetes Drug Helps Curb Alcohol Addiction

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The drug Liraglutide currently used to help manage type 2 diabetes and obesity could potentially be used to treat alcohol addiction, researchers have found.

Studies show that the drug was able to suppress the effects of alcohol on the dopamine system, reducing the pleasurable effect that alcohol has therefore decreasing a person’s motivation to drink.

"Acute liraglutide treatment suppressed the well-documented effects of alcohol on the mesolimbic dopamine system, namely alcohol-induced accumbal dopamine release and conditioned place preference in mice," the researchers wrote in their study published in Addiction Biology.

Liraglutide helps to regulate glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1), which plays a part in stimulating the release of insulin and suppresses glucagon release. Dopamine is a chemical released by the ‘reward centre’ part of the brain, so when alcohol is consumed it produces a sense of euphoria. The GLP-1 substance stops alcohol’s ability to boost dopamine.

The drug reduced alcohol consumption by 30-40% in mice who had been consuming a large amount of alcohol for several months, according to the study.

GLP-1 has also been shown to decrease the desire for cocaine, amphetamine and nicotine cravings in other scientific studies.

Researchers found that the medication also prevented relapse drinking in the animals.

‘Collectively, these data suggest that GLP-1 receptor agonists could be tested for treatment of alcohol dependence in humans’ concluded the report.

Source: Tech Times