MAR 03, 2019 3:28 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 is a scientist, educator, and life-long learner with a passion for making science more communicable. When not busy in the lab isolating blood macrophages, she enjoys writing on various STEM topics.
You May Also Like
MAY 04, 2021
Immunology
One Vaccine to Rule Them All
MAY 04, 2021
One Vaccine to Rule Them All
There are currently five variants of concern in the U.S., genetically distinct forms of the COVID-causing coronavirus th ...
MAY 28, 2021
Cell & Molecular Biology
Some Animals Can Breathe Through Their Whats?
MAY 28, 2021
Some Animals Can Breathe Through Their Whats?
There are some aquatic animals like sea cucumbers and some types of catfish that can survive in environments with limite ...
JUN 24, 2021
Immunology
Gut-Healing Stem Cells to Treat HIV Infections
JUN 24, 2021
Gut-Healing Stem Cells to Treat HIV Infections
A new study has revealed how stem cells can be used to amplify immune responses to HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. The ...
JUL 05, 2021
Cannabis Sciences
Long Term CBD Use Linked to Less Pain, Anxiety and Depression
JUL 05, 2021
Long Term CBD Use Linked to Less Pain, Anxiety and Depression
Researchers from Canada have found that long-term use of cannabidiol (CBD) is linked to improved symptoms of pain, anxie ...
JUL 08, 2021
Genetics & Genomics
Is It Possible to Prevent Leukemia in Down Syndrome Patients?
JUL 08, 2021
Is It Possible to Prevent Leukemia in Down Syndrome Patients?
Children with Down syndrome have a significantly higher likelihood myeloid leukemia occurring in the first five years of ...
JUL 31, 2021
Cannabis Sciences
Can CBD Treat Psoriasis?
JUL 31, 2021
Can CBD Treat Psoriasis?
With cannabidiol (CBD) becoming increasingly available, many are wondering about its utility in treating various conditi ...
Loading Comments...