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Stay-sober pill may help alcoholics cure habit

drinkkeys011410_optBY BOB HOLT
NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM

For some of us who really enjoy the weekends, a Nobel Prize may be in the works here.

Researchers at Yale University are conducting tests with a drug that can reduce some of alcohol’s effects on the brain. Their hope would be to developing a stay-sober pill to help alcohol abusers cure the habit.

Early study results indicated that volunteers in a driving simulator who take iomazenil before drinking are quicker to brake. Psychiatrist Deepak DSouza, told the Telegraph: "A medication that has the potential to block alcohol actions in the central nervous system could act as a unique medication in the treatment of alcohol intoxication and alcoholism."

Back in September, ABC News reported that American and Australian scientists conducted studies on mice using the drug naloxone, currently approved by the FDA to treat heroin overdose in humans. Naloxone tested glial cells, which comprise 90 per cent of the brain. The mice tested showed no signs of drunkenness, despite receiving a large alcohol injection.

The Telegraph reports that glial cells help to fight infections like meningitis. During testing, shutting off the immunity with naloxone kept the mice from getting drunk. According to the British Journal of Pharmacology, their reflexes were better, and they had better balance and walked better than mice who were not given alcohol.

The Yale researchers are saying they don’t want to develop a drug that encourages people to drink more. According to Mail Online, they hope to wean heavier drinkers off alcohol with the pill by taking some of the pleasure out of drinking to reduce damage to the liver and other organs.

 

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