Brain Protein May Be Possible Alcoholism Cure
According to UH College of Pharmacy medical chemist Joydip Das, a brain protein that attaches to alcohol is a potential cure for alcoholism. MUNC 13-1, as the protein is known, has a critical role in the development of tolerance. Tolerance occurs when the brain gets used to a substance and increasing amounts become necessary to achieve the same effect.
“Addiction to alcohol remains one of the most significant mental health problems throughout the world. A major challenge is to understand how ethanol, or alcohol, changes behavior and the brain during the descent into addiction.”
“If a person becomes tolerant of one drink, he will have another and maybe another. If we could stop alcohol from binding into MUNC 13-1 it will help problem drinkers in reducing tolerance. If we can reduce tolerance, we can reduce addiction.”
The MUNC 13-1 and alcohol binding processing occurs in a brain synapse, where a single neuron transmits a signal to another. More precisely, the attachment takes place in the presynaptic space, a part of the synapse mechanism that is not often studied or understood.
During a binge, alcohol invokes widespread and long-term changes in neural activity, changing both presynaptic and postsynaptic actions.
So far the research has been done using the Drosophila genetic model system, which is a simple model but has several similarities. This activating protein is known as D unc13, an equivalent to MUNC 13-1.
“Reduction in Dunc13 produces a behavioral and physiological resistance to [the] sedative effects of ethanol. We need to develop a pill that would inhibit alcohol binding to MUNC 13 and reduce its activity. Based on our results so far, this would likely reduce the formation of tolerance, making it harder to become addicted to alcohol.”
Get Help Today
Please call us today at 877-497-6180 for a free consultation
~ Nathalee G. Serrels, M.A., Psychology