Researchers at Melbourne's Howard Florey Institute discovered that blocking the brain's orexin system can also inhibit craving for alcohol according to a report by the BBC News. Work is reportedly underway to develop drugs which could act as orexin blockers.
Orexin cells, located in the hypothalamus, provide a chemical involved in the "high" felt after drinking alcohol or taking illicit drugs. Dr. Lawrence reported that if they can develop a drug to block the human orexin system, then an alcoholic’s craving for alcohol may be stopped.
The research further indicated that the same orexin producing cells are believed to play a part in regulating feeding. It is believed that the same drug which will help alcoholics may also help treat eating disorders.
Researchers further recommend treatment of alcohol dependence with pharmacological treatments in conjunction with psychological therapies.
Further information can be found in the BBC News Article.
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