A new study from the University of Texas at Austin shows promise for a potential alcohol abuse treatment, and it is one of the medical studies that may help advance alcohol addiction treatments so that these methods are more effective and provide a more permanent recovery. Neuroscientists inserted a human alcohol target that was modified into worms, and this resulted in worms that did not become intoxicated from alcohol. This could be a big breakthrough for alcohol abuse treatment and treat alcohol withdrawal symptoms in patients. According to one of the authors, University of Texas at Austin College of Natural Sciences and Waggoner Center for Alcohol and Addiction Research assistant professor Jon Pierce-Shimomura, “This is the first example of altering a human alcohol target to prevent intoxication in an animal.”
This study could be one of the most promising medical studies for alcohol abuse treatment in recent years. Jon Pierce-Shimomura went on to say “We got pretty lucky and found a way to make the channel insensitive to alcohol without affecting its normal function. Our findings provide exciting evidence that future pharmaceuticals might aim at this portion of the alcohol target to prevent problems in alcohol abuse disorders. However, it remains to be seen which aspects of these disorders would benefit.” The worms that were used were the species Caenorhabditis elegans, and they model intoxication when exposed to alcohol so they are a good test species for this type of study. The results were published in The Journal of Neuroscience.