Can alcohol abuse disorder be treated therapeutically? A new study tests the possibilities

Is it possible to cure alcohol abuse disorder therapeutically? According to the findings of a new study, a therapeutic cure is indeed possible and the brain immune protein called Interleukin 10 (IL-10) with potent anti-inflammatory properties can play a critical role.

The impact of alcohol on the brain cells is immense. After a drink or two, it is often observed that the person has difficulty walking and suffers from blurred vision and slurred speech and other such observable impediments. Long-term impact of alcohol abuse is more drastic. Affecting some 15 million people in America, the malaise of alcohol abuse and alcohol addiction is such that it rapidly spills out of control and makes it difficult for a person to live a normal life. As with other forms of substance abuse, alcohol addiction leaves a lasting impact on the brain cells – specifically inflammatory immune responses – which are responsible for alcohol-related problems. Read more

Scientists find ‘wonder drug’ ineffective for alcohol use disorders

Alcohol is the most widely used substance in the world. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), more than 80,000 people die each year due to alcohol in the United States. The total number of casualties increases to around 3.3 million deaths annually across the world due to alcohol abuse, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The use of pharmacotherapy along with psychosocial interventions has improved the success rate in patients going through alcoholism in remission and improving lifestyle necessary for the long-term alcohol abstinence. Read more

Novel cure of alcoholism using short hairpin RNA

A gene therapy that causes unpleasant side effects is seen as a novel cure for alcoholism. While the current fight in America is against opioids, the dangers of alcohol are no less. It is one of the most addictive substances and according to researchers, accountable for 5.9 percent of all deaths. Costing America no less than $250 billion in terms of person-hours, productivity and health care, alcoholism is an evil no less than opioids. The study pointed out that though medications such as naltrexone, disulfiram, and acamprosate are legally approved to treat alcoholism, they are not very popular because of their side effects. Most patients are reluctant to comply. Therefore, there is an inherent need for new cures. Anamaria C. Sanchez from the University of Chile, Santiago, conducted the research along with R. Jude Samulski, from the University of North Carolina, which got published in the journal Human Gene Therapy in June 2017. Read more

Key hurdles confronting recovery patients after successful alcohol addiction treatment

Overcoming an alcohol addiction that has progressed to a diagnosable stage may seem like an insurmountable task for the individuals suffering from this problem. When alcohol addiction sets in, users exhibit the tendency to prioritize alcohol over everything else despite being aware of the repercussions on their health, career, relationships and life.

Moreover, people who have overcome the habit of drinking to the point of enduring abstinence, there are different sets of challenges. Therefore, they have an altogether a different story. In 2016, around 15.1 million Americans aged 12 or older were diagnosed with an alcohol use disorder (AUD). However, the majority of them do not receive adequate or any medical intervention. Read more

Prenatal alcohol exposure disrupts neurodevelopment in children

Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) is an umbrella term for a wide range of problems that can develop in a child due to the drinking habit of the mother during pregnancy. Prenatal exposure to alcohol, even in low amounts, can cause developmental abnormalities, such as growth retardation, facial deformities, organ damages, etc., and significant cognitive deficits that are responsible for physical, mental, behavioral and social challenges in an individual’s life. Read more