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Introduction to the Special Issue “Pharmacotherapies for the Treatment of Alcohol Abuse and Dependence” and a Summary of Patents Targeting other Neurotransmitter Systems

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Abstract:

This paper introduces the Special Section: Pharmacotherapies for the Treatment of Alcohol Abuse and Dependence and provides a summary of patents targeting neurotransmitter systems not covered in the other four chapters. The World Health Organization notes that alcoholic-type drinking results in 2.5 million deaths per year, and these deaths occur to a disproportionately greater extent among adolescents and young adults. Developing a pharmacological treatment targeting alcohol abuse and dependence is complicated by (a) the heterogeneous nature of the disease(s), (b) alcohol affecting multiple neurotransmitter and neuromodulator systems, and (c) alcohol affecting multiple organ systems which in turn influence the function of the central nervous system. Presently, the USA Federal Drug Administration has approved three pharmacotherapies for alcoholism: disulfiram, naltrexone, and acamprosate. This chapter provides a summary of the following systems, which are not covered in the accompanying chapters; alcohol and acetaldehyde metabolism, opioid, glycinergic, GABA-A, neurosteroid, dopaminergic, serotonergic, and endocannabinoid, as well as patents targeting these systems for the treatment of alcoholism. Finally, an overview is presented on the use of pharmacogenetics and pharmacogenomics in tailoring treatments for certain subpopulations of alcoholics, which is expected to continue in the future.

Keywords: Addiction; NEUROBIOLOGICAL SYSTEMS; agonist; alcohol-use disorders; allosteric modulator; antagonist; hormone; metabolism; neuromodulator

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.2174/157488912800673155

Affiliations: Indiana University School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry, Institute of Psychiatric Research, 791 Union Drive, Indianapolis, IN, 46202, USA.

Publication date: 2012-08-01

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  • Recent Patents on CNS Drug Discovery publishes review articles on recent patents in the field of CNS drug discovery e.g. novel bioactive compounds, analogs & targets. A selection of important and recent patents on CNS drug discovery is also included in the journal. The journal is essential reading for all researchers involved in CNS drug design and discovery.
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