Posted on 5/29/2010 by meg
McLean Hospital, an associated institution of Harvard University, has found evidence that the opioid blocker extended-release injectable naltrexone (XR-NTX) has the ability to reduce the response to cues that cause relapse in the alcoholic’s brain. Scott Lukas, PhD, director of the Neuroimaging Center at McLean, states that these findings will explain how the drug reducing cravings for alcohol and could predict who might respond better to this type of treatment.
"These data are quite important since relapse remains a significant challenge in treating patients with alcohol dependence," Lukas said. "It looks to us that XR-NTX can help people remain abstinent by reducing the importance of these cues so they are less likely to relapse." XR-NTX works by blocking opioid receptors in the brain and was approved for the treatment of alcohol dependence in 2006. XR-NTX is commercially available as Vivitrol®.The researchers used a BOLD (Blood Oxygen Level Dependent) functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) scan to test 28 individuals with alcohol-dependence. They were shown pictures of alcoholic beverages and they were exposed to odors of their favorite alcoholic drinks.
The research was conducted as a double-blind experiment where 15 of the subjects were injected with the extended-release injectable naltrexone and 13 were injected with a placebo.
Imaging results showed sudden changes in blood flow in the brain. All subjects had reported an increase in cravings within the first few minutes of exposure to the cues, however those injected with the extended-release injectable naltrexone reported that cravings diminished after a few more minutes, whereas the other 13 subjects’ cravings remained strong. In only 2 weeks, brain areas associated with the cravings were not as active in those treated with the drug.
Scans were taken at baseline and again two weeks after the injection. Scans of subjects on placebo were virtually unchanged after two weeks. But those subjects on XR-NTX showed significant reductions in activation patterns in areas of the brain having to do with cognitive and emotional processing and reward circuitry on the second scan following exposure to the alcohol cues.Obviously there is no simple solution to cure alcoholism, but this research could help develop more effective methods for treating the addiction and maintaining sobriety.
Opioid-Blocking Medication Reduces Brain's Response to Alcoholism Cues, Study Finds
(+)-naloxone 6-acetylmorphine (6AM) Addiction Adenovirus Adolescence Adrenaline Aftershave Airplaning Alcohol Alcohol Poisoning Alcoholic Alcoholism Amphetamine Anaplasticity Anterior Cingulate Cortex Antibodies Anxiety Appetite Assault Attention Bath Salts Battery Acid Beer Belfast Benefits Benzoylmethylecgonine Bergen Facebook Addiction Scale Binge Drinking Biochemical Biological Clock Body Language Bone Fracture Bones Bonsai Grow Boot Camp Brain Brain Damage Break-Up British Columbia Bum Rushing Buprenorphine California Dreaming Canada Cancer Casino Cathinones Centers for Disease Control and Prevention China Choking Game Cigarette Circadian Rhythm Cirrhosis Citric Acid Cloud Nine Cocaine Cocaine Vaccine Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Common Cold Compulsivity Constitutional Right Content-Control Software Counselor Crack Craving Cues Death Decision-Making Demerol Dentist Dependence Dependency Depression Dilaudid Dopamine Dr. Drew Drain Cleaner Drug E-Cigarette Electric Shock Electronic Cigarette Emotion Employment Programs Engrams Exceptional Access Program (EAP) Facebook Facebook Addiction Failure Fainting Game Family Finances Flat Liner fMRI France Funky Chicken Gamblers Anonymous Gambling Genes Glutamate Government Grey Matter Hapten Harm Reduction Harvey Wallbanger Health Health Care Heart Attack Heart Disease Heroin Hillbilly Heroin HIV/AIDS Homelessness Hospitalization Human Rights Hunger Hurricane Charlie Hydrocodone Hydromorphone Hygiene Hypothalamus Illicit Drug Use Immune System Immune-Addiction Response Immunopharmacotherapy Implant Impulse Control Disorders Injection Injuries Instinct Internet Addiction Internet Gambling Intervention Ivory Wave Jay Leno Knockout Game Lantern Fuel Liver Long Term Depression Love Ludomania MADD Medial Prefrontal Cortex Medication Memories Memory Memory Traces Meperidine Mephedrone Mesolimbic Reward Pathway Methadone Methamphetamine Methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV) Methylone Mid-Brain Money Montreal Morphine Motivation Mouthwash mRNA Muscle Control Naloxone Naltrexone Narcotic Negative Consequences Neural Pathway Nicotine Nicotine Gum Nicotine Patch Noradrenalin Norepinephrine Obsessive-Compulsive Online Gambling Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) Ontario Drug Benefit (ODB) Ontario Works (OW) Opiate Opioid Oral Hygiene Orbitofrontal Cortex Osteoporosis Ottawa Overdose Oxycodone Oxycontin Oxyneo Pain Pain Management Painkiller Paint Thinner Pass-out Game Pathological Computer Use Pathological Gambling Percocet Placebo Poker Pop Pre-frontal Cortex Prefrontal Cortex Prescription Drugs Propoxyphene Psychoactive Purple Dragon Rats Recovery Red Dove Rehab Rejection Relapse Relationships Research Research Validity Reward Reward and Punishment Risky Sexual Behavior RNA Safe Injection Site Salt Scarface Sensory Perception Serotonin Sex Addiction Shame Sleep/Wake Cycle Sleeper Hold Slot Machines Smoking Smoking-Cessation SNDRI Sobriety Social Assistance Social Media Social Security Soda Soda Addiction Sodium Sodium Ion Channel Space Monkey Speech Star Dust Striatum Subutex Successful Treatment Supreme Court of Canada Synapse Teenagers Tobacco Toll-Like receptor 4 (TLR4) Tooth Decay Tooth Enamel Tooth Erosion Treatment Trillium Drug Program Urine Sample Vaccine Vancouver Vanilla Sky Vaporize Vicodin Virus Vivitrol Welfare Wet Program White Lightning White Matter Wine Withdrawal