Reza Momenan1, John Umhau1, Yan Zhang2, Daniel Hommer1, Markus Heilig1, Jun Shen2
1NIAAA, NIH, HHS, Bethesda, MD, USA; 2NIMH, NIH, HHS, Bethesda, MD, USA
Increased alcohol preference have been related, in rodents, to repeated cycles of intoxication and withdrawal. High EtOH preference is suggested to cause a hyperglutamatergic state, which persists beyond acute withdrawal. In alcoholics, such a hyperglutamatergic state might link the acute symptoms of individual withdrawal, which may increase craving and potential for relapse. Therefore, we have hypothesized that by reducing the glutamate level we may reduce the withdrawal symptoms and hence increasing the success of abstinence. Acamprosate both reduces ethanol consumption in alcoholics and purportedly modulates glutamatergic signaling. We present results from an ongoing investigation of this effect on human alcoholic subjects.