The Story of Glutamate in Drug Addiction and of N-Acetylcysteine as a Potential Pharmacotherapy.

The Story of Glutamate in Drug Addiction and of N-Acetylcysteine as a Potential Pharmacotherapy.

JAMA Psychiatry. 2013 Jul 31;
Brown RM, Kupchik YM, Kalivas PW

HubMed – addiction

Pharmacological interventions to modulate attentional bias in addiction.

CNS Spectr. 2013 Aug 1; 1-8
Luijten M, Field M, Franken IH

Attentional bias in substance-dependent patients is the tendency to automatically direct attention to substance-related cues in the environment. Preclinical models suggest that attentional bias emerges as a consequence of dopaminergic activity evoked by substance-related cues. The aim of the current review is to describe pharmacological mechanisms underlying attentional bias in humans and to critically review empirical studies that aimed to modulate attentional bias in substance-dependent patients by using pharmacological agents. The findings of the reviewed studies suggest that attentional bias and related brain activation may be modulated by dopamine. All of the reviewed studies investigated acute effects of pharmacological agents, while measurements of chronic pharmacological treatments on attentional bias and clinically relevant measures such as relapse are yet lacking. Therefore, the current findings should be interpreted as a proof of principle concerning the role of dopamine in attentional bias. At the moment, there is too little evidence for clinical applications. While the literature search was not limited to dopamine, there is a lack of studies investigating the role of non-dopaminergic neurotransmitter systems in substance-related attentional bias. A focus on neurotransmitter systems such as acetylcholine and noradrenaline could provide new insights regarding the pharmacology of substance-related attentional bias. HubMed – addiction

Orexin/hypocretin receptor signalling cascades.

Br J Pharmacol. 2013 Jul 31;
Kukkonen JP, Leonard CS

Orexin (hypocretin) peptides and their two known G-protein-coupled receptors play essential roles in sleep-wake control and powerfully influence other systems regulating appetite/metabolism, stress and reward. Consequently, drugs that influence signalling by these receptors may provide novel therapeutic opportunities for treating sleep disorders, obesity and addiction. It is therefore critical to understand how these receptors operate, the nature of the signalling cascades they engage, and their physiological targets. In this review, we evaluate what is currently known about orexin receptor signalling cascades while a sister review (Leonard & Kukkonen, this issue) focuses on tissue-specific responses. The evidence suggests that orexin receptor signalling is multi-faceted and substantially more diverse than originally thought. Indeed, orexin receptors are able to couple to members of at least three G-protein families and possibly other proteins, through which they regulate non-selective cation channels, phospholipases, adenylyl cyclase, and protein and lipid kinases. In the central nervous system, orexin receptors produce neuroexcitation by post-synaptic depolarisation via activation of non-selective cation channels, inhibition of K(+) channels and activation of Na(+) /Ca(2+) -exchange, but also can stimulate the release of neurotransmitters by presynaptic actions and modulate synaptic plasticity. Ca(2+) signalling is also prominently influenced by these receptors, both via the classical phospholipase C-Ca(2+) release pathway but also via Ca(2+) influx, mediated by several pathways. Upon longer-lasting stimulation, plastic effects are seen in some cell types while others, especially cancer cells, are stimulated to die. Thus, orexin receptor signals appear highly tuneable depending on the milieu in which they are operating. HubMed – addiction

Betel addiction in Pakistani children – an evil that needs to be stopped.

J Pak Med Assoc. 2013 Jul; 63(7): 944
Ali S, Farooqi M, Sheikh A, Ahmed SS

HubMed – addiction

Pattern of illicit drug use in patients referred to addiction treatment centres in Birjand, Eastern Iran.

J Pak Med Assoc. 2013 Jun; 63(6): 711-6
Karrari P, Mehrpour O, Afshari R, Keyler D

To evaluate the pattern of use of opioid and other illegal drugs in patients seeking addiction treatment in Birjand, eastern Iran.The prospective study was conducted from March 21, 2009 to March 21,2010, and comprised all patients referred to the seven addiction treatment centres in Birjand. Data was obtained through pre-designed questionnaires and it was analysed using SPSS 16.Of the 700 substance users referred to the 7 centres and who volunteered to participate, 632 (90.3%) were males and 68 (9.7%) were females. The male/female ratio was approximatly 9.3/1. Mean age was 34+/-10.2 (range: 10-75) years. The type of drugs used included traditional drugs (n= 342; 48.9%) and newer modern drugs (n=314; 44.9 %). The mean age of the first experience with drugs was 21.91+/-7.1 (range=0-60) years. There was significant different between the type of drugs used and the place of residence (p<0.019), age (p<0.0001), martial status (p<0.0001), occupation (p<0.006) and education (p<0.017).The prevalence of illicit drug addiction was quite high. There seemed to have been a change in the pattern of drug use and in the type of illegal drugs used in the study area, from traditional drugs to new and modern drugs. As such, identifying risk factors related to addiction and the prevention of addiction should be one of the most important health priorities for the authorities. HubMed – addiction