Navigation Links
Treatment for alcohol dependence might work best in certain populations, research suggests

This release is available in French.

MONTREAL March 16, 2011 - Results from a new study suggest that one of the most prescribed medications for alcohol dependence may be more effective in some people. Preliminary results show that naltrexone (Revia), one of the only medications approved for treating people with alcohol abuse problems, may only be effective in women and those with a specific genetic variation. The new study, conducted by researchers from the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI MUHC) and McGill University, will be published in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.

Previous work suggested that naltrexone only helped some people with alcohol problems, but the reason for that was unclear. "Our results suggest that we might now be able to predict beforehand who will benefit most," says Dr. Marco Leyton, lead investigator of the study and a researcher in the Mental Illnesses and Addiction axis at the RI MUHC. "We were quite excited to find that our results supported that naltrexone was specifically effective in women and in people who carried a gene related to the brain's natural morphine system called the mu opioid receptor gene (OPRM1)."

In this study, researchers followed a small group of "social drinkers" in an effort to validate some very preliminary hints that the efficacy of the treatment might be related to gender and a particular gene that may be inherited. These findings could help ensure that we give the right medication to the right people," says Dr. Leyton, who is also and associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry at McGill.

Researchers and clinicians might be able to determine who might best respond to this treatment, before it was administrated. "If a particular individual with alcohol dependence had these features, we could then say with much more confidence that this is going to help you. For other individuals who don't have those features, we'll be able to say, don't waste your time with this medication, we should try something else for you", explains Dr. Leyton. "These findings have the potential to improve the quality of treatment for alcohol dependent patients and they could ultimately lead to a form of personalized medicine."

Alcohol stimulates the release of the brain's natural opioids, which conveys a feeling of euphoria in individuals when drinking alcohol. There seem to be individual differences in the magnitude of that effect as well as in the sensitivity of the receptors to those natural opioids. "In other words, an opioid receptor blocker, such as naltrexone, might be an effective treatment for people with alcohol problems by decreasing the euphoria of drinking," explains Ms. Elaine Setiawan, first author of the study and PhD candidate in McGill's Integrated Program in Neuroscience.

At this point there is no particular reason to think that these findings couldn't be applied to other groups, such as those with a family history of alcoholism or those with high alcohol craving. But as Dr. Leyton suggests, "further research needs to be done in all sorts of populations and with a much larger sample to better understand the connection between the brain's opioid system, genetics and different responses to naltrexone."


Contact: Julie Robert
McGill University Health Centre

Related medicine news :

1. Herbal Derivative Wins Praise as Malaria Treatment
2. Chasing the pot of gold: WSU researchers study gambling subtypes and treatment outcomes
3. Unusual treatment of colonic perforation
4. Potential new treatment to reduce the burden of atherosclerosis in acute coronary syndrome patients
5. New insights into cancer treatment
6. Research shows rapid adoption of newer, more expensive prostate cancer treatments
7. UTHealth study: Stem cells may provide treatment for brain injuries
8. University of Michigan Cardiovascular Center studies new treatment for high-risk aortic patients
9. ADAM-12 gene could hold key to cancer, arthritis and cardiac treatments
10. Research study explores gene therapy treatment to reduce symptoms of Parkinsons disease
11. The safety of daily magnesium oxide treatment for children with chronic constipation
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... 26, 2016 , ... Pixel Film Studios Released ProSlice Levels, a Media Slicing ... their videos a whole new perspective by using the title layers in ProSlice ... , ProSlice Levels contains over 30 Different presets to choose from. FCPX ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... TX (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... Austin ... of the American College of Mohs Surgery and to Dr. Russell Peckham for medical ... and highly effective treatment for skin cancer. The selective fellowship in Mohs Micrographic Surgery ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Dr. Calvin ... injury. Recently, he has implemented orthobiologic procedures as a method for treating his ... of the first doctors to perform the treatment. Orthobiologics are substances that orthopaedic ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... June 19, 2016 is World Sickle Cell Observance Day. In an effort to ... treatments, Serenity Recovery Center of Marne, Michigan, has issued a pain management ... (SCD) is a disorder of the red blood cells, which can cause episodes of ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Comfort Keepers® of San ... Society and the Road To Recovery® program to drive cancer patients to and from ... adults to ensure the highest quality of life and ongoing independence. Getting to ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of ... report to their offering. ... The World Market for Companion Diagnostics covers the world market ... the report includes the following: , World ... Region (N. America, EU, ROW), 2015-2020 , World IVD ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016  MedSource announced today that ... e-clinical software solution of choice.  This latest decision ... value to their clients by offering a state-of-the-art ... relationship establishes nowEDC as the EDC platform of ... full-service clients.  "nowEDC has long been a preferred ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Roche (SIX: ... 510(k) clearance for its Elecsys BRAHMS PCT (procalcitonin) assay ... sepsis or septic shock. With this clearance, Roche is ... a fully integrated solution for sepsis risk assessment and ... with bacterial infection and PCT levels in blood can ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: