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Hospital sets up fake bar to test the effectiveness of an Anti-Drinking Medicine

Welcome to the hospital at National Institutes of Health in Washington
that has a completely stocked bar. Sounds weird, doesn’t it? 

before you go all skeptical, let us disclose that the bar is fake and
the bottles have been filled with colored water. The setup is a part of
an experiment to ascertain how effective the latest anti-drinking drug
is. The fake bar has been designed so as to enhance the craving of
participants taking part in a test to ascertain if the pill is capable
of countering the desire to drink.
Dr. Lorenzo Leggio – the lead researcher for the project – said, “The
goal is to create almost a real-world environment, but to control it
very strictly.” He further stated that the pill has a hormone known as
ghrelin that enhanced the appetite for food and thus inhibits the urge
to drink. That is the theory at least.
NIH’s bar lab is one of about a dozen such bars located in US that are
trying to find out the results of using ghrelin. The hormone is produced
by the stomach naturally and controls the appetite of the user by
tinkering with the receptors in brain. According to researchers, there
exists an overlap between receptors responsible for alcohol craving and

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Dr. Leggio is now busy in determining whether inhibiting
ghrelin’s actions will also have an effect on the cravings via this
experimental drug that was initially created for diabetes but never made
it to the market.
According to studies, 17 million persons in the US are affected by
disorders pertaining to alcohol, however, only a fraction of this number
get treated. There is also no single and effective therapy since
everyone responds in a different manner based upon their genes. There
are some who react well to naltrexone while there are also people who
respond much better to acamprosate.
Dr. George Koob, director of NIH’s National Institute of Alcohol Abuse
said, “Our hope is that down the line, we might be able to do a simple
blood test that tells you if you will be a naltrexone person, an
acamprosate person, a ghrelin person.” 
He also said that for an
alcoholic to recover completely, a number of factors come into play
before the person can finally change habits.


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