A study published in Molecular Psychiatry shows that a certain medication for blood pressure called, isradipine, may help eliminate addiction to alcohol and drugs.
Isradipine erases or blocks the particular memories that motivate addiction of an individual either to drugs or alcohol.
Scientists have long discovered drug addiction is connected to certain habits and memories, all of which have programmed the brain to crave for a substance depending on the situation or environment.
“Addicts show up to the rehab center already addicted,” stated Hitoshi Morikawa, an associate professor of neuroscience at The University of Texas in Austin. “Many addicts want to quit, but their brains are already conditioned. This drug might help the addicted brain become de-addicted.”
In the experiments, rats were conditioned to connect either a white or black room with cocaine or alcohol addiction. When the subject animals were provided with the choice to enter one of the rooms, they often selected the room which is associated with their addiction.
When the rats were given dose of isradipine on the first day, they exhibited the same behavior – selecting the room associated with their addiction. But, in the following days, their choices changed.
The scientists stated that there was no equivalent within the control group, thereby concluding that isradipine either erased or blocked the memory of the rat’s addiction that’s been associated with a particular room.
According to the experts, medications for the lowering of blood pressure obstructs a type of ion channel located in the heart, brain cells, and blood vessel. Using isradipine to obstruct these ion channels also seemed to reverse addiction habits that have become deeply programmed in the brain.
The Food and Drug Administration has already approved isradipine as a blood pressure medication. The researchers expect that it will facilitate the conduct of clinical trials for this particular health concern.