While not necessarily a medgadget, alcohol is important to inventors, physicians and researchers around the world. It’s often used to celebrate success — and even more frequently to try and forget failures. So we think it is interesting to note that researchers at UCLA have found an experimental drug that can inhibit some of the less desirable side effects of drinking:
UCLA researchers discovered how an experimental drug, called Ro15-4513, binds to specific receptors on brain neurons, which
helps explain how this drug stops the drunken behavioral symptoms of
alcohol such as impaired motor coordination, memory loss and drowsiness.
The team showed in the lab that Ro15-4513 binds to and blocks alcohol action on these highly alcohol-sensitive receptors. The UCLA group previously found that these receptors are specific subtypes of Gamma-amino butyric acid (GABA-A) receptors that play a role in impairing motor coordination caused by alcohol in experimental animals.
These studies are the first to show how the alcohol antidote drug Ro15-4513 binds to these GABA-A receptors. The research may lead to a better understanding of how alcohol works in the brain, as well as help develop drugs that prevent alcohol actions such as a sober-up pill, and alcohol addiction medications and treatments. UCLA researchers also suggest in the future that it may be possible to harness the beneficial effects of alcohol on the body, including inducing sleep, enhancing mood or mirroring the positive effects of
moderate alcohol consumption on the heart and brain.