Institutionen för klinisk neurovetenskap, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden
Associate Professor Pia Steensland defended her thesis ““Anabolic Androgenic Steroids and the Brain – Studies of Neurochemical and Behavioural Changes Using an Animal Model” under the supervision of Professor Fred Nyberg at Uppsala University, Faculty of Pharmacy in 2002. After a successful postdoc at Ernest Gallo Clinic and Research Center, University of California San Francisco, Dr Steensland was recruited to Karolinska Institutet in 2008. Based on her wide methodological background within behavioral psychopharmacology, she established an Experimental Addiction Research Platform with the aim to increase the understanding of the underlying mechanisms in the brain during the development and maintenance of alcohol use disorder, and the ultimate goal to identify potential novel effective medications.
Alcohol use disorder (AUD) is associated with a dysregulated dopamine system modulating e.g. reward, craving and impulsivity. The monoamine stabilizer (-)-OSU6162 (OSU6162; developed by Nobel Laureate Arvid Carlsson) is suggested to attenuate or stimulate dopamine functioning depending on the prevailing dopaminergic tone and thus has potential as a novel AUD medication. We recently showed that OSU6162 attenuates several alcohol-mediated behaviors in long-term drinking rats. In addition, our placebo-controlled human laboratory study showed that OSU6162 significantly attenuates craving and the subjective “liking” of the consumed alcohol in AUD patients. An effect driven by individuals with higher baseline impulsivity. Furthermore, our animal studies showed that OSU6162 improves impulse control as and restores dopamine deficits in the Nucleus Accumbens induced by long-term voluntary alcohol consumption. In conclusion, together with OSU6162’s favorable side effect profile, these results merit further evaluation of the effect of OSU6162 on alcohol use outcomes in alcohol dependent patients.
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