Participants receiving dehydroepiandrosterone during treatment for cocaine dependence show high rates of cocaine use in a placebo-controlled pilot study.
ABSTRACT Twenty-three cocaine-dependent participants were randomly assigned to receive either dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA; n = 11; 100 mg/day) or placebo (n = 12) in the context of 12 weeks of thrice weekly cognitive-behavioral group counseling. Outcomes were retention, urine drug screening, cocaine craving, adverse experiences, and medication compliance. DHEA-treated participants averaged 45.8 (SD = 28.8) days in treatment, compared with 70.7 (SD = 20.6) days for placebo, r(21) = -2.4, p =.03, and provided 26.8% (SD = 29.3) of urine samples free of cocaine metabolite compared with 70.6% (SD = 39.9) for the placebo condition, r(21) = -3.0, p =.01. No differences were detected between conditions for cocaine craving or adverse experiences. High levels of medication compliance were documented. Results argue against using high doses of DHEA as a pharmacotherapy for cocaine dependence.
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ABSTRACT: Ion channels are vital components of plasma membranes. This article presents an evolutionary view of the biochemical mechanism of controlling activity of ion channels by rigid lipids, such as steroids or biophysically similar molecules, which were instrumental in formation and control of ion channels in cell membranes at the very origin of life. Such regulatory mechanisms exist in all cellular forms of life from ancient bacteria to humans and participate in a diversity of biological functions, from the most basic, such as maintenance of cell shape, homeostasis, feeding, cell fusion, and reproduction to the most intricate, such as the mind. Learning about the regulation of membrane ion channels by steroids and like molecules is important for understanding the evolution of life and various aspects of cell and organism physiology, for unraveling the mysteries of mind, and for practical purposes such as developing new pharmacotherapies.Acta neurobiologiae experimentalis 02/2007; 67(3):219-33. · 2.24 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), which can act as a potential antidepressant in both animals and humans, appears to lower distress involved with cocaine withdrawal. In fact, a role for neurosteroids in modulation of substance-seeking behavior is becoming increasingly clear. Therefore, we tested the effects of DHEA on the self-administration of cocaine (1 mg/kg/infusion) by rats. At maintenance, a relatively low dose of exogenous DHEA (2 mg/kg; i.p.) attenuated cocaine self-administration after several days of chronic treatment. More than 2 weeks (19 days) of daily DHEA injections were required to decrease the cocaine-seeking behavior of rats to less than 20% of their maintenance levels. DHEA does not seem to decrease cocaine self-administration by increasing the reinforcing properties of the drug, as indicated by a cocaine dose-response determination. After being subjected to extinction conditions in the presence of DHEA, rats demonstrated a minimal response to acute exposure to cocaine (10 mg/kg), which indicated a protective effect of DHEA on relapse to cocaine usage. Our results suggest a potential role for the neurosteroid DHEA in controlling cocaine-seeking behavior, by reducing both the desire for cocaine usage and the incidence of relapse.Neuropsychopharmacology 11/2006; 31(10):2231-6. DOI:10.1038/sj.npp.1301013 · 7.83 Impact Factor