MAR 03, 2019 03:28 PM PST

Drug Reverses Effects of Alcohol on the Brain

WRITTEN BY: Nouran Amin

Recently, researchers have identified a drug that could help reverse the damaging effects of heavy alcohol consumption on the regeneration of neurons (brain cells). The drug is called ‘Tandospirone’ and acts selectively on a serotonin receptor (5-HT1A) to improve neurogenesis – the ability of the brain to grow and replace neurons.

Credit: QUT.edu

 

“We know that with heavy drinking you are inhibiting your ability to grow new neurons, brain cells. Alcohol is specifically very damaging for neurons,” says study leader neuroscientist Professor Selena Bartlett from QUT’s Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation. “This is a novel discovery that tandospirone can reverse the deficit in neurogenesis caused by alcohol.”

In the study, tandospirone was effective in stopping anxiety-like behaviors associated with alcohol withdrawal in adult mouse models. Additionally, the drug showed a significant decrease of just 15 weeks of binge-like alcohol intake. Findings have been published in Scientific Reports.

Credit: QUT.edu

“Other studies in mice have shown that tandospirone improves brain neurogenesis, but this is the first time it has been shown that it can totally reverse the neurogenic deficits induced by alcohol,” says Bartlett. “This opens the way to look at if neurogenesis is associated with other substance-abuse deficits, such as in memory and learning, and whether this compound can reverse these.”

Tandospirone has been on the market for the treatment of general anxiety and is safe with minimal side-effects. “This drug is relatively new and available only in China and Japan. It is commonly used there and shown to be highly effective in treating general anxiety and well tolerated with limited adverse effects,” says Bartlett. “This is not just another drug that shows promise in helping to reduce binge drinking.”

Learn more:

“While it could possibly have that effect, it might be able to help reboot the brain and reverse the deficits the alcohol abuse causes – both the inhibition to the brain’s ability to regenerate, and the behavioural consequences that come from what alcohol is doing to the brain, like increases in anxiety and depression.”

Source: Queensland University of Technology

About the Author
  • Nouran enjoys writing on various topics including science & medicine, global health, and conservation biology. She hopes through her writing she can make science more engaging and communicable to the general public.
You May Also Like
OCT 18, 2019
Drug Discovery & Development
OCT 18, 2019
Anti-cancer Drug Disguises as Fat
According to a study published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society (JACS), a new drug-delivery system disguises as fat in order to outsmart tum...
OCT 18, 2019
Drug Discovery & Development
OCT 18, 2019
Aspirin: The Good and Bad for Breast Cancer Survivors
Early research has indicated that aspirin usage may increase the survival rate among women with breast cancer. These studies were based on aspirin’s ...
OCT 18, 2019
Drug Discovery & Development
OCT 18, 2019
Comparison of Three Frontline Breast Cancer Drugs
Breast cancer affects 250,000 women in the U.S. annually. Those with most common form test positive for hormone receptors (HR+) and negative for the HER2 r...
OCT 18, 2019
Health & Medicine
OCT 18, 2019
A Skin Patch Might be the Most Effective Melanoma Treatment
Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have developed a fast-acting skin patch that effectively delivers cancer-fighting medicati...
OCT 18, 2019
Drug Discovery & Development
OCT 18, 2019
Transplanted Brain Stem Cells Survive Without Anti-Rejection Drugs
Researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine have successfully transplanted brain cells without the need of immune-suppressing drugs. Findings of the study were p...
OCT 18, 2019
Drug Discovery & Development
OCT 18, 2019
Nanomesh Development Advances Drug Delivery's Fight Against Antibiotic-Resistance
As concern over medication-resistant bacteria grows, researchers at Flinders University have now fabricated nanomeshes as an effective drug delivery method...
Loading Comments...