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Essay: Orexin’s role in Addiction: Pharmacological agents targeting orexin as a treatment for drug addiction

Smit, J.R. (2016) Essay: Orexin’s role in Addiction: Pharmacological agents targeting orexin as a treatment for drug addiction. Bachelor's Thesis, Biology.

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Abstract

Drug addiction is a problem and its’s prevalence and associated burden is highest in relatively wealthy countries. Despite this, there are relatively few effective and approved pharmacotherapies for addiction. Most of the known pharmacotherapies only cover a subset of addictions and the need for more efficient therapies remains. Finding new physiological targets for treatment is therefore desired. One of these targets is the orexin/hypocretin system. This system originates within the hypothalamus and has projections throughout the brain, including the reward system. Targeting this system with pharmacological agents (antagonists for the orexin receptors) has been shown to reduce addiction-like-behavior. The current thesis addresses the current knowledge about the orexin/hypocretin system and its role in substance addiction. The investigated substances are cocaine, nicotine, the opiates and ethanol. Based on the current data the orexin system is indeed a strongly favored target for potential addiction treatment. Not only is it implicated in different substance addictions, the system is well studied and quite well understood. Pre-clinical studies show promising results and perhaps the time has come for the clinical testing of orexin antagonists as a target for addiction treatment.

Item Type: Thesis (Bachelor's Thesis)
Degree programme: Biology
Thesis type: Bachelor's Thesis
Language: English
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2018 08:24
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2018 08:24
URI: http://fse.studenttheses.ub.rug.nl/id/eprint/14424

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