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Swedish scientist are developing Brain Medication aimed at stopping alcoholism

Friday, 27 July 2012
Swedish scientists are developing what could be called a ground breaking approach in medicine which will see a model whereby the urge sensation for alcohol consumption will be removed from the brain.

After finding that alcohol dependence has to do with the level of dopamine in the brain required to give a pleasure sensation, a new medication for alcohol dependence is under development in Sweden directed against dopamine in the brain and could give better clues as to how to reduce the growing level of alcohol abuse.

There are currently some approximately 300 000 Swedes who have an alcohol addiction, The fact the no amount of counselling is helping, a more medically directed scientific approach has to be conceived.

In that vein, scientists today see alcoholism as a disease of the brain because of how alcohol alters the brain's reward system. They believe that regular drinking of alcohol alters the brain system - something that has been difficult to re-adjust with counselling.

It happens that if one drinks every now and then, it increases the amount of dopamine in the brain every time that there is the urge for a drink. A regular properly managed drinking is all right but when the drinking habit becomes something that clouds the brain, it changes the way the brain works.

The reward system becomes blunted and the amounts of dopamine released in the brain are reduced below normal levels. The result is that the dependent would have to drink to restore the level and avoid feeling bad.

Nobel laureate, Arvid Carlsson, has now developed a substance that allows the dopamine in the brain to remain stabilized at a normal level. An initial study carried out at University of Gothenburg shows that the compound works on patients suffering from other diseases in which dopamine level is important.

Researchers at the Karolinska Institute, Sweden will this fall begin to try the new substance in alcohol-dependent individuals.
"The substance is unique as it can both raise and lower dopamine levels, depending on the disorder determined in the brain," says Pia Steensland, associate professor and alcohol researcher at the Karolinska Institute to Swedish television

For alcohol-dependent people, it is done so that the depressed dopamine levels are raised. When alcohol is consumed, the substance may reduce the pleasurable sensation of alcohol. In this way, it becomes meaningless to drink and an alcoholic could be free from its alcoholic bondage.
by Team

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