Washington DC: If you want to get rid of the alcohol addiction, then this is for you. A recent study has found that diabetes medication can be used to treat alcohol dependence.
A new study on mice and rats at Sahlgrenska Academy shows that a medication used for diabetes and obesity also could be a valuable tool for the treatment of alcohol dependence.
The University of Gothenburg study shows that interfering with the hormone GLP-1 could be a target for treating alcohol dependence, which is an entirely novel aspect.
Researchers found that a medication that resemble GLP-1, which is used to treat type 2 diabetes as well as obesity, also could be used to treat alcohol dependence.
Usually, dopamine is released in the brain's reward center in response to drinking alcohol, which leads to a sense of euphoria. The GLP-1-like substance prevents the ability of alcohol to increase dopamine in reward areas in the mice, suggesting that they no longer experience a reward from alcohol.
In addition, the diabetes medication caused the rats to decreases their alcohol intake, as well as reduced the motivation to drink alcohol in rats that were bred to drink a lot of alcohol. The medication also prevents relapse drinking in rats, which is major problem for alcohol dependent individuals.
The GLP-1-like substance reduced the alcohol consumption by 30-40 percent in rats that drank large quantities of alcohol for several months, says researcher Elisabet Jerlhag.
The study is published in Addiction Biology.