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ANTI-SEIZURE DRUG MAY TREAT ALCOHOLISM

The anti-seizure drug ezogabine may be a way to reduce excessive alcohol consumption, according to a new study with rats.

Published in American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, the research provides the first evidence that alcoholism can be treated by this newly discovered mechanism that helps to regulate brain activity known as Kv7 channel modulation.

This finding is of importance because ezogabine acts by opening a particular type of potassium channel in the brain, called the Kv7 channel, which regulates activity in areas of the brain that are believed to regulate the rewarding effects of alcohol,” says lead author Clifford Knapp, associate professor of psychiatry at Boston University School of Medicine. “This research indicates that drugs that open Kv7 channels might be of value in the treatment of alcoholism.”

Alcoholism is one of the leading causes of illness and death in the US, and has significant negative economic impact by limiting worker productivity and spiking health care costs.

Read about this at Futurity.org.  Futurity features the latest discoveries by scientists at top research universities in the US, UK, Canada, and Australia. The nonprofit site, which launched in 2009, is supported solely by its university partners in an effort to share research news directly with the public.

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