Compound found for reducing alcohol dependence

Researchers for Scripps Research Institute and Eli Lilly have found that a compound called MTIP blocks a brain chemical, triggering a response that can stop excessive drinking, reduce the effects of a hangover and prevent relapses. The synthetic compound also muted the anxiety that typically develops in rats experiencing the equivalent of a hangover. Such stress is linked with higher levels of a brain chemical called corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF), which is also thought to trigger relapse in rats that have developed a long-term dependency on alcohol. The research, by Markus Heilig, MD, PhD, at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, and his team, appears in the March 7 issue of The Journal of Neuroscience.

"This study shows the activity of a compound that potentially could be used in human subjects," says George Koob, PhD, of the Scripps Research Institute. "It moves the field over another translational barrier, closer to the day when the dark side of addiction is treated."

- check out the release
- read the article on the research from the BBC