Gene therapy is a new hope for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease and alcoholism.
A team of scientists from the Oregon Health and Science University have found that alcohol abuse disorders can be treated with gene therapy, reports The Guardian.
What is gene therapy?
Gene therapy involves changing a patient’s genetic material to treat or prevent disease. Researchers have found that the same method used to treat Parkinson’s disease can be adapted to reduce alcohol dependence.
In this therapy, special molecules that stimulate cell growth are used to “reset” the dopamine reward pathways in the brain. This leads to a decrease in the reward center of the brain associated with drinking, reports TVR.
Gene therapy requires brain surgery, but promising results in primates raise hopes that it could be effective in humans as well.