A recent study conducted on rats that have endured brain damage stemming from alcohol may possibly lead to a new cure for the treatment of neurological complications in patients. Donepezil, a pharmaceutical-grade drug that helps to reduce the effects of memory loss, dementia, and confusion in patients, was recently administered to rats that had experienced brain damage caused from the ingestion of alcohol.
Upon receiving the study’s results, US researchers were enthused about the outcome as it was discovered that Donepezil reverses any neurological damage that the rats had endured from the alcohol. While researchers have discovered that Donepezil is effective in the treatment of neurological side effects that occur from excessive binge drinking; there’s still much more to learn about the process before such a treatment approach is made on an actual patient.
However, one crucial finding about Donepezil that researches have discovered is that it affects a particular enzyme known as “cholinesterase” from being able to produce a certain form of neurotransmitter in the brain (and brain damage repair is a consequence of this).
Adolescent intermittent ethanol exposure, or, AIE, is the medical term used to describe the excessive indigestion of alcohol. Studies have concluded that excessive drinking multiple nights per week will result in a reduced enzyme-count in what some refer to as the “adolescent” part of the brain.
Because of this, and, because of the fact that Donepezil halts the production of a particular Enzyme – rats who were administered the Alzheimer’s medication showed signs of neurological recovery as the brain damage caused from the alcohol was reversed.
Researches have described the effects of Donepezil as one that “effects the cognitive function” in the neurological center. Since the test subjects (30-day old rats) were administered ethanol on an everyday or every other day basis – researchers were able to gain insightful data both before and after the administering of Donepezil.
This resulted in some extraordinary clinical trial results that perhaps will reshape our approach for the treatment of patients who have suffered brain damage attributed to alcohol abuse.
Once the 30-day period of administering rats with ethanol commenced, a 20-day sober break took place where the rats received no ethanol. After this phase of the clinical study all of the rats were divvied up in to two separate groups.
Once divided, one half of the rats were administered Donepezil for four days while the remaining half received only water.
It was discovered that non-treated adult rats that maintained consistent levels of alcohol during their infant days had noticeably fewer branches of dendritic spines stemming from their neurons. Since a change in the spine signifies an altering process of how information is processed neurologically, it became apparent that alcohol was responsible for the brain damage.
However, the rats that were administered ethanol that later received Donepezil showed no signs of change to their neurons. Their dendritic spines appeared and functioned normally.
At the moment, there’s not too much data available on the long-term neurological effects that alcohol has on people. However, more data is emerging and similar clinical study trials are expected to be conducted in this space of medicine.
Dr. Vikram Tarugu, M.D, is the CEO of Detox of South Florida, Inc and medical professional focused on addiction. A veteran in the medical field with over 25 years of professional experience. He is a consultant for many South Florida Rehab centers. Patients travel from allover the US to seek his help with addiction and Hepatitis C treatment.
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