A drug, used for obese and type 2 diabetic patients, can be used to treat cocaine dependence. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Nursing and Perelman School of Medicine say that the FDA-approved drug named Byetta may soon be available, giving cocaine addicts a wider treatment option.
The drug is derived from a hormone that regulates feeding behaviour known as glucagon-like peptide-1, or GLP-1. A previous study, also conducted by this study’s Matthew Hayes, has found that this hormone regulates palatable food intake. The researcher believed that the same results can be attained in cocaine use.
The new study found out that activating GLP-1 receptors in the ventral tegmental area or VTA, the part of the brain that deals with rewarding behaviour of the rats, consumed less cocaine. Apparently, this is the first time that demonstrated how the hormone did this task in the brain.
The GLP-1 in the animals’ brain acts similarly with the human brains so the researchers enabled the rats to administer cocaine by themselves through intravenous infusion, in the same way a person would, rather than injecting the cocaine directly on their bodies. The researchers introduced the GLP-1 receptor agonist directly into the animals’ brain when they got used to their cocaine regimen.
The researchers note that no human trials have been done. However, they believe that approving the use of Byetta for cocaine addiction treatment would be near. Additionally, Byetta is already approved by FDA and all of its side effects are known and deemed safe to use. To read more click here.
Drug addictions will be discussed at the Australian and New Zealand Addiction Conference 2016, themed Alcohol – Other Drugs – Behavioural Addictions, Prevention, Treatment and Recovery will be held on the Gold Coast from the 19 – 20 May 2016. To view the high quality Conference Program CLICK HERE.
To register your attendance at the conference CLICK HERE. Early bird registrations close Friday 8th April so be quick to receive a discounted rate.