Four new studies on the chemistry of addictions will be featured at the national meeting of the world's largest scientific society, the American Chemical Society. From how heavy drinking influences the brain chemicals that make us happy or stressed, to medications that would help prevent or control addictions to cocaine and PCP, these new research findings will be discussed at the ACS national meeting in New Orleans, August 22-26.
A symposium on the topic will be held in the Convention Center, R09, on Monday, Aug. 23, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon. All papers are embargoed until the time of presentation, unless otherwise noted.
All four presenters will be available at a follow-up press briefing, to begin at 12:15 p.m., Convention Center, Room 201.
First medication to target pcp addiction
An antibody-based drug to provide immediate protection against the chronic abuse of phencyclidine (PCP) is being tested, offering new promise for a currently untreatable addiction. The technique uses monoclonal antibodies-identical copies of animal antibodies cloned and reproduced in the laboratory-to prevent or slow the entry of PCP into the brain. In animal studies, just one injection curbed the effects of PCP for at least two weeks-a period equivalent to one to two months in humans. (S. Michael Owens, Ph.D., University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock. MEDI 156, 9:00 a.m.)
Alcohol: The chemistry of the dark side
Animal studies of the effects of alcohol on brain chemistry may help explain why alcoholics experience long-lasting feelings of tension and distress-and why they tend to relapse. The studies show heavy drinking depletes the brain's supplies of the chemicals responsible for feelings of pleasure and well-being. Worse still, it promotes the release of stress chemicals that create tension and depression. The two factors in combination create a chemical imbalance that leaves alcoholics vulnerable to relap
Contact: Charmayne Marsh
American Chemical Society