Researchers at The University of Texas have been assessing the potential of a new FDA approved drug. Addiction relapses might be cured by blood pressure medication through erasing location and smell memories that can cause addiction cravings.
Hitoshi Morikawa an associate professor of neuroscience at Austin’s University of Texas along with a team of scientists have already tested the new drug’s effects on lab rat patients.
The research was detailed and published in the Journal Molecular Psychatry.
They have successfully halted alcohol and dangerous drug addictions using the new drug based on high blood pressure medication.
The drug is based on isradipine a calcium channel blocker that was recently researched as a potential for certain forms of Parkinson’s disease as well.
Isradipine is already FDA approved for human usage. This means that human clinical trials could begin in a short time span, and results could be published fast.
The team trained laboratory rodents to associate room colors with drug usage. The team did this through the use of two small rooms one of which contained a drug. when the mice had a choice of choosing the room in which to enter they always choose the drug associated room.
At one point the researchers decided to administer a high dose of blood pressure medication to the drug addicted rats.
To the teams surprise the rats had a change in behavioral patterns after the first day. The lab rodents no longer preferred to enter the room containing drugs, but were indifferently basing their decisions.
This lead to the conclusion that the color memory related to addiction had been suppressed.
The one problem that has to be solved before human trials begin, is that isradipine lowers blood pressure so the team has to find non-threatening medication to combat the rise safely and without problematic side effects.
If this could be replicated in human subjects it could mean that memories related to addiction could no longer push patients to re-start old habits.
Some of the greatest problems in facing and resolving addiction issues , is memory association. Places, smells, or images can trigger addiction craving, which in turn determine relapses.
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