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The role of the cannabinoid system in the pathogenesis and treatment of alcohol dependence

Author(s): Bogusława Pietrzak | Agnieszka Dunaj | Karolina Piątkowska

Journal: Postępy Higieny i Medycyny Doświadczalnej
ISSN 0032-5449

Volume: 65;
Issue: 846636;
Start page: 606;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: zespół zależności alkoholowej | farmakoterapia | układ kannabinoidowy | rimonabant | badania przedkliniczne i kliniczne | alcohol dependence | pharmacotherapy | cannabinoid system

The lack of satisfactory results of alcohol dependence treatment force us to search for new directions of research. Recent studies concentrate on endocannabinoid transmission. The results show an interplay between the endocannabinoid and dopaminergic signaling in activation of the limbic reward system. The mechanisms leading to development of dependence are very complex and poorly recognized. Endogenous cannabinoids seem to have an important role in the functioning of this system, both directly and indirectly affecting the level of different neurotransmitters. The effect of alcohol on the endocannabinoid system is also complex and involves changes at the molecular level. Experimental studies have demonstrated an important role of the CB1 receptors in the neurochemical mechanism of alcohol consumption and its regulation. SR141716 (rimonabant), a CB1 receptor antagonist, significantly lowers voluntary alcohol intake and motivation for its consumption in various experimental studies. Very encouraging results of preclinical studies were not completely confirmed in the clinical studies. However, further clinical studies are still necessary.

Tango Jona
Tangokurs Rapperswil-Jona

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