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Testing anti-drinking drug with help of a fake bar
Technology
Published in 1-1-2015
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"The goal is to create almost a real-world environment, but to control it very strictly," said lead researcher Dr. Lorenzo Leggio, who is testing how a hormone named ghrelin that sparks people's appetite for food also affects their desire for alcohol, and if blocking it helps. Scientists at the Scripps Research Institute found the epilepsy drug gabapentin reduced relapses in drinkers who'd recently quit, and improved cravings, mood and sleep by targeting an emotion-related brain chemical. A study by NIAAA and five medical centers found the anti-smoking drug Chantix may help alcohol addiction, too, by reducing heavy drinkers' cravings. And University of Pennsylvania researchers found the epilepsy drug topiramate helped heavy drinkers cut back, if they have a particular gene variation mostly found in people of European descent. [...] researchers also measure cravings as volunteers, hooked to a blood pressure monitor in the tiny bar-lab, smell a favorite drink.