Baclofen UK 

Alcoholism and Addiction Treatment 

Results of a study on Baclofen in Glasgow

The NHS in Glasgow has released the results of a study of the use of Baclofen in the treatment of alcoholism which shows that it does reduce alcoholic craving and anxiety. Below is a poster form which will be used to raise awareness of Baclofen:

 

http://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/pdf/Baclofen%20poster%20243774%20Masson_A0.pdf 

New study of Baclofen in France. 

Dr. Olivier Ameisen has triggered a study in France into the efficacy of Baclofen in treating Alcoholism. The trial will involve 200 participants using doses up to 300mg per day: 

http://www.worldcrunch.com/prescription-muscle-relaxer-may-be-wonder-cure-alcoholism/3719

 

Substitute Therapy for Alcoholism

Prof. David Nutt, former chairman of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs and Prof. Jonathan Chick, editor of the Journal of Alcohol and Alcoholism have released a paper on 8 July 2011 advocating a reconsideration of substute therapy for alcoholism:

J Psychopharmacol. 2011 Jul 8. [Epub ahead of print]

Substitution therapy for alcoholism: time for a reappraisal?

Source

Health Sciences, Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, UK.

Abstract

A number of compounds already in use as medications for various indications substitute for ethanol at clinically relevant brain pathways, in particular, at gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors. Nevertheless, although substitute medications have been recognized for heroin and tobacco dependence, patients with alcohol dependence are rarely offered an analogous approach. Benzodiazepines may have paradoxical effects, and abuse and dependence are known.

Baclofen (GABA(B) agonist) has not been associated with dependence or misuse and has been effective in several trials in preventing relapse, although research is required to establish the optimal dosing regimen....

For a condition where existing therapies are only effective in a proportion of patients, and which has high morbidity and mortality, the time now seems right for reappraising the use of substitute prescribing for alcohol dependence. 

 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21742726

 

ASAM now defines addiction as a brain disorder


  
 
Addiction now defined as brain disorder,
not behavior issue 
 

Addiction is a chronic brain disorder and not simply a behavior problem involving alcohol, drugs, gambling or sex, experts contend in a new definition of addiction, one that is not solely related to problematic substance abuse.

The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) just released this new definition of addiction after a four-year process involving more than 80 experts.

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"At its core, addiction isn't just a social problem or a moral problem or a criminal problem. It's a brain problem whose behaviors manifest in all these other areas," said Dr. Michael Miller, past president of ASAM who oversaw the development of the new definition. "Many behaviors driven by addiction are real problems and sometimes criminal acts. But the disease is about brains, not drugs. It's about underlying neurology, not outward actions."

The new definition also describes addiction as a primary disease, meaning that it's not the result of other causes, such as emotional or psychiatric problems. And like cardiovascular disease and diabetes, addiction is recognized as a chronic disease; so it must be treated, managed and monitored over a person's lifetime, the researchers say.

Two decades of advancements in neuroscience convinced ASAM officials that addiction should be redefined by what's going on in the brain. For instance, research has shown that addiction affects the brain's reward circuitry, such that memories of previous experiences with food, sex, alcohol and other drugs trigger cravings and more addictive behaviors. Brain circuitry that governs impulse control and judgment is also altered in the brains of addicts, resulting in the nonsensical pursuit of "rewards," such as alcohol and other drugs...
 
 
 
 

The role of the amygdala in alcoholism

 ScienceDaily (May 31, 2011) — A team of Scripps Research Institute scientists has found a key biological mechanism underpinning the transition to alcohol dependence. This finding opens the door to the development of drugs to manage excessive alcohol consumption...

In the new research, published in the June 1, 2011 issue of the journal Biological Psychiatry, the Scripps Research scientists demonstrated the key role of a receptor -- a structure that binds substances, triggering certain biological effects -- for neuropeptide Y in a part of the brain known as the central amygdala. The amygdala, a group of nuclei deep within the medial temporal lobes, performs an important role in the processing and memory of emotional reactions...  The scientists report a suppression of alcohol consumption with chronic neuropeptide Y infusions and detailed some of the neurocircuitry involved. Ethanol normally produces robust increases in inhibitory GABAergic transmission -- GABA is another neurotransmitter -- in the central amygdala, but this effect is blocked and reversed by neuropeptide Y...
This project was supported by the National Institutes of Health's National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, and the Pearson Center for Alcoholism and Addiction Research at Scripps Research.

 For the full article go to:

http://www.scripps.edu/newsandviews/e_20110606/roberto.html

CELLS IN THE AMYGDALA WHICH MAY HELP ANXIETY DISOSRDERS

Neuroscientist Denis Paré has identified a population of cells in a structure of the brain called the amygdala that could be a target for drugs to treat anxiety disorders.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, nearly 40 million American adults each year experience an anxiety disorder. These include such debilitating conditions as phobias, panic disorders and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Left untreated, anxiety disorders can lead to myriad problems that hinder daily life and ones that can ruin it altogether, such as drug abuse, alcoholism, unemployment, marital problems and suicide.

Functional imaging studies in combat veterans have revealed that the amygdala, a cerebral structure of the temporal lobe known to play a key role in fear and anxiety, is hyperactive in PTSD subjects. Turns out that the amygdala, however, also contains a population of cells that if properly stimulated could potentially eliminate fear memories and reduce anxiety.

 For the full article go to:

http://www.newark.rutgers.edu/neuroscience/pare.php