Addiction is a complex issue and can stem from various underlying causes. Identifying the root cause of addiction is key to finding an effective solution. However, it can be a challenging task as the factors driving addictive behaviors can be multifaceted. Therefore, it is important to approach addiction with a comprehensive understanding of the individual’s situation, background, and environment. Just like driving a car without a dashboard or other indicators can make it difficult to monitor the speed or fuel levels, treating addiction can also be a similar experience, especially if the person has tried conventional treatments with little success. Therefore, it is important to explore new and innovative approaches to addiction recovery that can provide greater insight and understanding of the individual’s unique situation. With the right support, resources, and treatment options, it is possible to overcome addiction and lead a fulfilling life.
The drug topiramate is an anticonvulsant that is often prescribed to treat migraines and seizures. It is also helpful for weight loss. Research at the University of Pennsylvania, found that a mutation in a type of glutamate receptor (GluK1 or GluK2 subunits) may predict response when given to alcoholics. When administered to people with risky drinking habits (defined as drinking more than 24 drinks a week for men and more than 15 drinks a week for women) those patients were able to reduce the number of nights of extreme drinking and also have more days of complete abstinence.
Another promising pharmacogenetic target for alcohol addiction is the serotonin receptor and its related transporter molecule, which carries serotonin from one neuron to another.
Ondansetron, marketed under the brand name Zofran, is a medication currently approved to treat nausea in cancer patients may help alcoholics reduce their drinking by reducing their craving for alcohol,
A study at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio of 271 patients identified as early-onset alcoholics found that dosages of ondansetron over an 11-week period resulted in fewer drinks per day and more days of complete abstainace, compared to the control group.
In a study in 2011, a team from the University of Maryland found that drinkers with a specific mutation in a gene SLC6A4, associated with the serotonin transporter had significant reductions of alcohol use and higher abstinence while taking ondansetron.
Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) is one of several enzymes responsible for metabolizing and inactivating the catecholamine neurotransmitters, including dopamine and norepinephrine and also controls the level of the neurotransmitter dopamine in the cortex.
A study found that a variant of the COMT gene, Val158 allele, resulted in lower dopamine concentrations in the prefrontal cortex and was associated with inefficient frontal lobe function and behavior disinhibition leading to impulsive behavior and addictive behavior.
MTHFR is an enzyme that breaks down folic acid (Vit B-9) to its usable form for the body. The MTHFR gene produces this enzyme that is necessary for properly using vitamin B9. This gene plays a key role with regard to many aspects of emotional and physical health.
The presence of an MTHFR deficiency or mutation can be linked to certain mental health issues like depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). MTHFR mutations also increase the risk of several physical health problems, including but not limited to cardiovascular disease and stroke, recurrent early miscarriage, migraine with aura, osteoporosis, and some cancers. Treatment of MTHFR deficiency with the usable form of folate (L-methy-folate) can improve response to certain medications for depression.
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