Role of the GABAB receptor system in alcoholism and stress: focus on clinical studies and treatment perspectives

Giovanni Addolorato, Lorenzo Leggio, Silvia Cardone, Anna Ferrulli, Giovanni Gasbarrini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Alcoholism and stress share some common neurobiological circuits, including the GABAergic system. In particular, the GABAB receptor seems to play an important role. The GABAB receptor agonist baclofen has been studied as a treatment for alcohol-dependent subjects. Baclofen administration in alcohol-dependent patients was able to promote abstinence, inducing the remission of withdrawal symptoms, reducing alcohol craving, and reducing alcohol intake. Baclofen also reduced anxiety in alcohol-dependent subjects, probably acting on brain stress circuitry and/or on other neuroendocrine systems. Baclofen also showed excellent safety and tolerability, even in alcohol-dependent patients with advanced liver disease (i.e., cirrhosis). Future studies should investigate which alcoholic subtype may better benefit of the administration of baclofen in the treatment of alcohol dependence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)559-563
Number of pages5
JournalAlcohol
Volume43
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2009

Keywords

  • Alcohol dependence
  • Anxiety
  • Baclofen
  • Craving
  • GABA
  • Stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Medicine(all)
  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Neurology
  • Toxicology
  • Health(social science)

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