Author(s): Tyacke RJ, LingfordHughes A, Reed LJ, Nutt DJ
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Abstract The GABA(B) receptor plays an important role in the control of neurotransmitter release, and experiments using preclinical models have shown that modulation of this receptor can have profound effects on the reward process. This ability to affect the reward process has led to clinical investigations into the possibility that this could be a viable target in the treatment of addiction. Presented here is an overview of a number of studies testing this hypothesis in different drug dependencies. The studies reviewed have used the GABA(B) receptor agonist baclofen, which is currently the only GABA(B) agonist for use in humans. In addition, studies using the non-specific GABA(B) receptor agonists vigabatrin and tiagabine have been included. In some of the studies these were found to have efficacy in the initiation and maintenance of abstinence, as an anti-craving treatment and alleviation of withdrawal syndromes, while in other studies showing limited effects. However, there is enough evidence to suggest that modulators of the GABA(B) receptor have potential as adjunct treatments to aid in the initiation of abstinence, maintenance of abstinence, and prevention of cue-related relapse in some addictions. This potential is at present poorly understood or studied and warrants further investigation. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
This article was published in Adv Pharmacol
and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy