Navigation Links
Disulfiram: New support for an old addiction drug
Date:1/31/2013

Philadelphia, PA, January 31, 2013 Disulfiram was the first medication approved for the treatment of alcoholism over 50 years ago. It works, at least in part, by preventing the metabolism of an alcohol by-product, acetaldehyde. High levels of acetaldehyde in the body quickly cause unpleasant symptoms, including nausea, vomiting, headache, and accelerated heart rate. Thus, disulfiram provides a very strong incentive to avoid drinking.

Beginning in the late 1990s, a series of studies conducted at Yale University found that disulfiram reduced the consumption of cocaine, particularly in the context of alcohol or opiate dependence. One mechanism introduced to explain this phenomenon was the ability of disulfiram to inhibit dopamine β-hydroxylase, or DβH, an enzyme that converts dopamine to norepinephrine. This hypothesis was supported in a new pharmacogenetic study by Thomas Kosten and colleagues, published in Biological Psychiatry.

The researchers recruited cocaine- and opioid-dependent patients who were randomized to receive either disulfiram or placebo for ten weeks. They also genotyped the DBH gene, which alters DβH levels, to determine which variant that each patient carried. Prior work has already shown that individuals with the CC genotype have normal DβH levels, whereas those carrying the T allele have lower DβH levels. This allowed them to determine whether the functional DBH variant influences the success of disulfiram treatment.

Disulfiram was effective in reducing cocaine use in patients with the CC genotype and normal DβH levels, whereas those with the low DβH level T genotype showed no disulfiram effect. These data support the hypothesis that disulfiram reduces drug consumption, in part, by blocking DβH.

Senior author David Nielsen at Baylor College of Medicine said, "We found significantly greater efficacy in cocaine addicts who carried a genetic variant of the dopamine β-hydroxylase gene that codes for an enzyme with 10 to 100 fold greater enzyme expression and occurs in about 60% of addicts. Thus, pharmacogenetic matching is critical for the optimal efficacy of disulfiram in cocaine addiction, and this matching includes the majority of these patients."

Disulfiram is not an FDA-approved treatment for cocaine addiction, and in fact, there are currently no approved medications to treat cocaine addiction.

"Cocaine has proven to be a particularly difficult challenge from the perspective of medication development. No doubt this reflects the powerful control that cocaine and cocaine-related cues exert on behavior. However, the current study suggests that pharmacogenetic approaches might be a strategy to match medications like disulfiram to patients who would be more likely to respond," commented Dr. John Krystal, Editor of Biological Psychiatry.


'/>"/>
Contact: Rhiannon Bugno
Biol.Psych@utsouthwestern.edu
214-648-0880
Elsevier
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. £35 million to support research for vital industrial sector
2. NSF Supports GlobalNSF supports global research to advance science and engineering for sustainability
3. 3-D biomimetic scaffolds support regeneration of complex tissues from stem cells
4. WHOI research projects awarded $5.2 million to support marine microbial research
5. Scale-up of a temporary bioartificial liver support system described in BioResearch Open Access
6. Can algae-derived oils support large-scale, low-cost biofuels production?
7. Combining two genome analysis approaches supports immune system contribution to autism
8. Cargill expands support of Notre Dame Haiti Program
9. BONESUPPORT für 2012 Top 100 Global Award von Red Herring ausgewählt
10. BONESUPPORT sélectionné en tant que 100 meilleures entreprises mondiales du Red Herring 2012
11. BONESUPPORT Selected As A 2012 Red Herring Top 100 Global
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/20/2016)... -- VoiceIt is excited to announce its new marketing ... working together, VoiceIt and VoicePass will offer an ... slightly different approaches to voice biometrics, collaboration between ... Both companies ... "This marketing and technology partnership allows VoiceIt ...
(Date:5/12/2016)... DALLAS , May 12, 2016 ... has just published the overview results from the Q1 ... of the recent wave was consumers, receptivity to a ... wearables data with a health insurance company. ... choose to share," says Michael LaColla , CEO ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... , May 3, 2016  Neurotechnology, a provider ... MegaMatcher Automated Biometric Identification System (ABIS) , ... multi-biometric projects. MegaMatcher ABIS can process multiple complex ... any combination of fingerprint, face or iris biometrics. ... SDK and MegaMatcher Accelerator , which ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016   Boston ... of novel compounds designed to target cancer stemness ... has been granted Orphan Drug Designation from the ... treatment of gastric cancer, including gastroesophageal junction (GEJ) ... inhibitor designed to inhibit cancer stemness pathways by ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016 Houston Methodist Willowbrook Hospital has ... Association to serve as their official health care ... Willowbrook will provide sponsorship support, athletic training services, ... coaches, volunteers, athletes and families. "We ... Association and to bring Houston Methodist quality services ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June, 23, 2016  The Biodesign Challenge (BDC), a ... ways to harness living systems and biotechnology, announced its ... in New York City . ... students, showcased projects at MoMA,s Celeste Bartos Theater during ... , MoMA,s senior curator of architecture and design, and ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , ... June 23, 2016 , ... STACS DNA Inc., ... Leader at the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory, has joined STACS DNA as a Field ... DNA team,” said Jocelyn Tremblay, President and COO of STACS DNA. “In further expanding ...
Breaking Biology Technology: