Programme Grant ANT: Alcohol binge drinking - induced cognitive impairment in health and working life: genetic vulnerability and novel pharmacotherapy

Time period: 2009-10-01 to 2015-09-30

Project leader: Georgy Bakalkin

Funder: Forte

Type of award: Research environment

Total fundning: 12 000 000 SEK

Alcohol binge drinking patterns and excessive alcohol consumption have severe effects on public health and working life in Sweden and its Nordic neighbors. Delayed impairment of cognitive capabilities and executive functions are the most deteriorating consequence of heavy drinking. We propose to examine the novel pathophysiological mechanism of this impairment, to develop clinically manageable strategies to identify subpopulations at risk, and to develop effective pharmacotherapy to treat alcohol-produced cognitive impairment. According to the mechanism, cycles of alcohol intoxication and withdrawal impair cognition through dysregulations in neurotransmission that is controlled by the endogenous opioid systems (EOS) including kappa-opioid receptor (KOPr) and its ligands dynorphins, prodynorphin (PDYN) products. 1) We will examine whether genetic variants of the KOPr/OPRK1 and PDYN genes contribute to alcohol use, abuse and dependence, and to alcohol-induced cognitive impairments. Population-based cohorts of y