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A novel therapeutic strategy for alcoholism: Blocking the stress system using glucocorticoid antagon

A new paper published in collaboration with Leandro Vendruscolo and the Barbara Mason lab provide robust evidence that mifepristone reduces alcohol drinking in rats and humans.

LA JOLLA, CA – April 21, 2015 – The present studies indicate that attenuation of GR function by mifepristone reduces compulsive-like alcohol intake in alcohol-dependent rats and reduces both excessive drinking and alcohol craving in recently abstinent alcoholics — in addition to improving liver-function markers in subjects with a history of heavy drinking— without any major adverse effects. We suggest that brief (1-week) treatment with mifepristone immediately following acute withdrawal, in conjunction with a course of psychosocial treatment, may offer a novel therapeutic approach for alcohol dependence that optimizes healthcare resources. An adequately powered clinical trial of mifepristone to replicate and extend these findingsto treatment seekers with alcohol dependence is indicated.

Congratulations to Dr. Leandro Vendruscolo (NIH-IRP) for this great paper.

Link to the paper: JCI's website, PDF

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