New Research From the NIH Uses Bar Replica for Alcohol Abuse Treatment Testing

alcohol abuse treatment testing, bar replicaNew research being performed at the National Institutes of Health uses a bar replica for alcohol abuse treatment testing. Researchers utilize a replica which represents a bar that is fully stocked in order to test out an experimental treatment designed for alcohol use disorders. According to Dr. Lorenzo Leggio, who is the lead researcher on the project, “The goal is to create almost a real-world environment, but to control it very strictly.” The setting simulates an actual bar, with dim lighting and what appears to be a fully stocked bar, is intended to stimulate the craving for alcohol in the brain. The experimental treatment is being used to study whether ghrelin, an appetite increasing hormone, also increase the urge to drink. If ghrelin does increase the urge for alcohol consumption then blocking this hormone could be the key to treating alcohol use disorders.

The bar replica being used for alcohol abuse treatment testing by researchers is not actually stocked with bottles of booze, the real stuff is hidden away under lock and key. The bottles are actually filled with colored water. Volunteers for the research study are connected to blood pressure cuffs during the testing. Researchers need access to real alcohol in order to add the authentic smell to the replica of the bar, and also to test out the safety of the drug that is being used to block the ghrelin in the brain. The initial research study results on the safety of the experimental drug are expected to be released in te Spring of 2015.


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