Their studies in adult mice show that two weeks of daily treatment with the drug tandospirone reversed the effects of 15 weeks of binge-like alcohol consumption on neurogenesis — the ability of the brain to grow and replace neurons (brain cells). The findings have been published in Scientific Reports.
- This is the first time tandospirone has be shown to reverse the deficit in brain neurogenesis induced by heavy alcohol consumption
- Tandospirone acts selectively on a serotonin receptor (5-HT1A)
- The researchers also showed in mice that the drug was effective in stopping anxiety-like behaviours associated with alcohol withdrawal, and this was accompanied by a significant decrease in binge-like alcohol intake
“This is a novel discovery that tandospirone can reverse the deficit in neurogenesis caused by alcohol,” said study leader neuroscientist Professor Selena Bartlett from QUT’s Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation.
“We know that with heavy drinking you are inhibiting your ability to grow new neurons, brain cells. Alcohol is specifically very damaging for neurons.