Posted on Feb 25, 2018, 7 p.m.
A drug that may be able to help the brain reboot and reverse the damages of heavy alcohol consumption on regeneration of brain cells may have been identified by researchers from Queensland University of Technology.
The study was conducted using mice models with results showing that 2 weeks of daily treatment with tandospirone was able to reverse the effects of a 15 week binge alcohol bender on neurogenesis, which is the brain’s ability to replace and grow neurons. Tandospirone was also shown to be effective in stopping the behaviours associated with alcohol withdrawal, as published in Scientific Reports.
This is the first time that the drug tandospirone has been shown to have this affect, and been able to reverse the deficit on neurogenesis that was alcohol induced. Tandospirone is relatively new, and acts selectively on a serotonin receptor. Previous studies show that the drug improves brain neurogenesis. These findings open a window to investigate if neurogenesis may be associated with other substance abuse deficits to learn whether this compound may be able to reverse these as well.
Tandospirone is a new drug and is currently only available in Japan and China, where it is commonly used and shown to be highly effective in the treatment of anxiety and is well tolerated within limited adverse effects.
Tandospirone not only shows promise to help decrease binge drinking, but it may be able to help the brain to reverse and reboot the deficits caused by alcohol abuse such as the inhibition of the brain’s ability to regenerate, and the behavioural consequences that are associated with the damaging effects of alcohol on the brain such as increased depression and anxiety.
Materials provided by Queensland University of Technology.
Note: Content may be edited for style and length.
Arnauld Belmer, Omkar L. Patkar, Vanessa Lanoue, Selena E. Bartlett. 5-HT1A receptor-dependent modulation of emotional and neurogenic deficits elicited by prolonged consumption of alcohol. Scientific Reports, 2018; 8 (1) DOI: 10.1038/s41598-018-20504-z