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MOSCOW, May 4 – RIA News. Molecular biologists from the University of Texas created and tested the first experimental drug for alcoholism, completely weaned rats and worms from craving for alcohol, according to an article published in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology.
Alcohol. Archive photo
"There are other experimental drugs for alcoholism, but they all act on the person weakly and have strong side effects. Our substance, JVW-1034, acts on another chain of neurons, and therefore it has no similar disadvantages", – explains James Sahn (James Sahn) from the University of Texas in Austin (USA).
In recent years, scientists have found that alcoholism does not develop because of weak will or some other problems with the character of a person, but because of the presence of certain mutations in the genes responsible for ethanol processing and the work of certain parts of the pleasure center and other regions of the brain , associated with self-control and impulsive behavior.
Such discoveries revived the interest of physicians in the creation of drugs that would correct the work of such sections of DNA and associated proteins and parts of the brain and help alcoholics get rid of addiction or prevent its development.
San and his colleagues took the first step towards creating such a drug, studying how the work of the nervous system changes in its most general form, not only in the development of alcoholism, but also in other forms of drug addiction.
The scientists found "binge drinking center" in the human brain
As the biologist notes, the so-called sigma receptors, with which cocaine and opiate molecules combine, have long been considered one of the main culprits in the formation of drug dependence. Relatively recently, genetics deciphered their complete structure, which led the authors of the article to the idea of testing whether they could be related to the development of alcoholism.
Using data on their device, San’s team synthesized several hundred molecules that could block the work of sigma receptors. Then the biologists selected from them several of the most effective versions that maximally interfered with their work and did not act on other types of neurons on which sigma receptors are absent.
To test them and final selection, the scientists conducted a series of unusual experiments, in which they tried to wean alcoholic worms from craving for alcohol. To do this, they dropped several nematodes into a soil impregnated with alcohol, and the next day they checked how actively they moved after a similar "booze", having processed a part of them with medicines.
Scientists have found a biological explanation for drinking drunkenness
The substance that received the temporary name JVW-1034 proved to be the best, it completely removed all the symptoms "a hangover" and prevented the development of alcoholism. His work, scientists subsequently successfully tested on alcoholic rats, in any conditions, preferring to drink a ten percent solution of alcohol, rather than pure water.
As these experiments showed, even relatively modest doses of the drug relieved rats of addiction and reduced the proportion of alcohol they consumed by 30 percent almost immediately after the start of the JVW-1034. The successful completion of these tests, as San and his colleagues hope, will make it possible to pass to clinical trials of this drug in the near future.