Moderator: Music Discussion, PM
- Aug 31, 2016
- Frostbite Falls, MN
Ibogaine shown to reverse alcohol addiction*
UCSF | Science Daily
Researchers using rodent models have found the controversial drug ibogaine reverses alcohol addiction by increasing the level of the protein GDNF (glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor) in the ventral tegmental area of the brain.
Ibogaine, which is extracted from a West African shrub, has been shown to reverse addiction to alcohol and some drugs, but potentially serious side effects have prevented its widespread acceptance.
In a paper published in The Journal of Neuroscience, investigators at UCSF showed that ibogaine acted specifically on the ventral tegmental area of the brain. After injecting the drug into the brains of rats, the investigators found that loss of craving for alcohol was accompanied by an increase in the level of GDNF expressed by cells in the ventral tegmental area. Treating the animals with specific antibodies to prevent GDNF expression reversed the anti-addictive action of ibogaine, and direct injection of GDNF prevented addiction in the same manner as injection of ibogaine.
"By identifying the brain protein that ibogaine regulates to reduce alcohol consumption in rats, we have established a link between GDNF and reversal of addiction--knowledge of a molecular mechanism that should allow development of a new class of drugs to treat addiction without ibogaine's side effects," said senior author Dr. Dorit Ron, associate professor of neurology at the University of San Francisco. "If we can alter the GDNF pathway, we may well have a new treatment against alcohol and drug addiction, without the unwanted side effects of ibogaine."
*From the article here :
A naturally occurring hallucinogen advocated by some clinicians as a potent anti-addiction drug has been rigorously studied for the first time, confirming its ability to block alcohol craving in rodents, and clarifying how it works in the brain.