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Getting rid of alcoholism is going to get simpler and without a hundred side-effects. According to scientists, including an Indian, have identified compounds that has drastically reduced drinking in rats. This oral drug may be available in five to six years. While the exact reasons of alcoholism are not understood properly, the urge to drink more is relate to our brain's pleasure centres, according to VVN Phani Babu Tiruveedhula, a graduate student at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. When you consume alcohol, it triggers the brain to release a chemical called neurochemical dopamine. Hence, most of the drugs available to treat alcoholism are aimed at dopamine.
James Cook, a chemist at the University of Wisconsin, says that the drugs dampen out the dopamine system a little bit so you don't get happy when you consume alcohol. However, these medications, cause depression in some patients, according to Cook. They are addictive themselves, which can lead to drug abuse. Valium is another common drug used to treat alcoholism that is also addictive. Cook focused on molecules known to cause some of the same results as Valium but without any unwanted side effects.
These potential medications could be taken orally. In the tests, they used rats bred to crave alcohol and the scientists found that administering these compounds drastically reduced the rats' drinking. There were also very few of the side effects which were common to alcoholism treatment drugs like depression or losing the ability to experience pleasure. Though the drugs reduced the anxiety in the alcoholic rats, they were still in control. 'What excites me is the compounds are orally active, and they don't cause depression like some drugs do. If everything works out, a drug could be ready for the market in about five to six years,' said Cook.
Image source: Getty Images
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