Alcoholism & Substance Abuse

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11 09, 2019

Evaluating Oxytocin in Opioid Withdrawal: A Translational Study | McElligott | $50,000

Evaluating oxytocin in opioid withdrawal: a translational study 2019 Award: $50,000 As the opioid epidemic continues to spread in the United States, it’s important to discover new and more effective treatments. Using a preclinical model of opioid use disorder (OUD) in mice, we will investigate the ability of the hormone oxytocin to alleviate the physical opioid withdrawal symptoms, sleep dysregulation, and protracted affective behaviors. Need/Problem: We are currently experiencing a global opioid epidemic; however, the prevalence of opioid use disorder (OUD) is especially visible in the US, where drug overdose is now the leading cause of accidental death. Individuals who are dependent on opioids continue to take these drugs despite the negative consequences to their lives and the risk of death. A major factor driving this persistent drug taking is because opioid withdrawal is both a physically and mentally traumatic [...]

16 04, 2019

Reversing the Pharmacological Effects of Cocaine by Allopregnanolone | Robinson | $54,506

Reversing the Pharmacological Effects of Cocaine by Allopregnanolone 2108 Award: $54,506 There is a critical need for pharmacological therapeutics to treat stimulant addiction, for which there are no approved drugs. A growing body of evidence suggests that neurosteroids are promising therapeutic strategies for stimulant addiction, but critical pharmacological studies are lacking. This project will determine the ability of allopregnanolone to reverse the pharmacological effects of cocaine on dopamine in the brain and on behavioral activation. Because of their few side effects, neurosteroids may be a novel and effective way to treat stimulant use disorder. Need/Problem: There is a critical need for pharmacological therapeutics to treat stimulant addiction, for which there are no approved drugs. Grant Summary: This project will test whether allopregnanolone, a neurosteroid made in the brain, can counteract key effects of stimulants. Because of their few side [...]

9 07, 2018

Alcohol Intoxication Mediated Through Medial Septal Circuitry | Knapp | $39,210

Alcohol Intoxication Mediated Through Medial Septal Circuitry 2017 Award: $39,210 In this research, researchers will use a novel mouse line to test the involvement of a specific neural circuit in brain in controlling alcohol intoxication. Selected cells in this circuit will be manipulated in an attempt to enhance or diminish the magnitude of intoxication. If the role of the circuit and cells can be shown, future work would expand the analysis of the neural connections to this circuit with the goal of inspiring novel avenues for therapeutic intervention in alcohol used disorders. Need/Problem: A complete understanding of the brain mechanisms of alcohol intoxication has remained elusive.  Research devoted to defining the neurocircuits of intoxication with state of the art neurobiological tools offers an opportunity to make advances in our understanding. Grant Summary:  This grant offers a novel approach to [...]