New compounds may effectively treat both alcohol, cigarette addictions

Thursday, November 4, 2010

WASHINGTON - Alcohol and nicotine dependence can be treated simultaneously with the help of two new compounds, says a research.

Researchers at the Ernest Gallo Clinic and Research Center at the University of California and Pfizer Inc. have determined that two new compounds may be effective in treating both the addictions at the same time.

The scientists showed that alcohol consumption in rodents was significantly decreased by two compounds that target neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) subtype ?3?4*.

nAChRs are proteins found in the brain and broader central nervous system that mediate the effects of substances such as nicotine.

Recent human genetic studies have shown that the genes encoding the ?3?4* subtype are of significant importance for susceptibility to both alcohol and nicotine dependence.

“The problem has been translating these important genetic findings into more effective medications for people,” said co-senior author Selena E. Bartlett.

One of the new compounds, CP-601932, has been shown in a clinical study to be safe in humans, notes Bartlett.

The other compound is PF-4575180.

“Alcohol and nicotine addiction are often treated as separate disorders. despite the fact that 60 to 80 percent of heavy drinkers smoke tobacco. Our data suggest that by targeting specific nAChR subtypes, it may be possible to treat both alcohol and nicotine dependence with one medication,” said Bartlett.

The study is published in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology. (ANI)

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