Gene therapy drug could cure alcohol addiction

Gene therapy drug could cure alcohol addiction

Scientists are testing the potential of a gene therapy drug designed to treat Parkinson’s to treat alcohol addiction. The results obtained on monkeys are very impressive!

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scientists ofOregon Health & Science University A gene therapy drug used against Parkinson’s has found a second use: treating alcoholism. In tests on ethanol-accustomed rhesus macaques, injecting the treatment directly into the brain reduced their alcohol intake by 90%. , it’s incredibly effective ”, comments neuroscientist Kathleen Grant, who participated in these experiments.

Treating Alcohol Addiction Directly to the Brain

The gene therapy drug in question takes the form of a harmless virus (AAV) that carries the gene encoding the protein GDNF, or glial-derived neurotrophic factor, As a growth factor, this protein promotes the growth of neurons that synthesize dopamine, a key neurotransmitter in the reward system. , Drinking alcohol can increase dopamine production. However, with prolonged drinking, the brain adapts in such a way as to reduce the release of dopamine. Thus, when people become dependent on alcohol, they no longer really enjoy drinking. Kathleen Grant says

Gene therapy brings dopamine to where it is produced in the brain and allows alcohol-dependent macaques to dramatically reduce their consumption. The animals managed to stay sober for 12 months after the scientists exposed them to alcohol for a period of abstinence. These pre-clinical results, published in naturopathyThis has to be confirmed in humans so that this gene therapy can cure alcohol addiction.


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