Washington: A new study has examined that the Alzheimer's drug memantine may help binge eaters to control their consumption.
The study conducted at The Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) suggested that a specific area in the brain, the nucleus accumbens, which is responsible for addictive behaviors, facilitates the effects of memantine.
The researchers used an experimental model to simulate binge-eating behavior, and were able to identify the area of the brain associated with binge-eating and then suppress the behavior by applying memantine directly into that area.
Pietro Cottone, PhD, an associate professor of pharmacology and psychiatry at BUSM and co-director of the Laboratory of Addictive Disorders, said that they found that memantine, which blocked glutamate NMDA receptors, blocked binge eating of junk food, blocks the strength of cues associated with junk food and blocks the compulsivity associated with binge eating.
Co-author Valentina Sabino, PhD, assistant professor of pharmacology and psychiatry at BUSM and co-director of the Laboratory of Addictive Disorders, asserted that individuals with binge eating disorder have a very poor quality of life and decreased lifespan.
The study is published online in Neuopsychopharmacology.