Heilig, Markus (Office of Research Services (ORS))
Aversive or anticraving medications are currently used to supplement behavioral treatment of alcohol dependence. However, there is a need for developing more effective medications than those available. Neuropeptide Y (NPY) is a neurotransmitter known for increasing appetite and possibly having a role in alcohol preference and dependence. This is likely to be mediated by activation of the post-synaptic NPY-Y1 receptor, but developing molecules suitable for human therapeutics that activate that receptor represents a major challenge. Researchers at the NIH have now shown that administering antagonists of the presynaptic Y2 receptor of NPY decreases alcohol consumption and may be a valuable new treatment for alcoholism.
Treatment of alcohol dependence