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UR researchers discover hormone that inhibits opioid high

ROCHESTER, N.Y. - Researchers at U of R have been granted $200,000 for opioid research.

The researchers have identified a hormone in mice that inhibits dopamine receptors. It means that the reward, or the high that someone feels from opioids or other substances, is lessened by having this hormone present.

Dr. Jean Bidlack, leading the research explains addiction like this, saying, "if you do heroin, you'll get a big increase and the brain adapts and says I want this all the time, like if you have candy every day and then skip, then your brain is going to want that and with substances of abuse it's that much stronger."

When this hormone is introduced however, Bidlack says it lessens the response to the dopamine, therefore making the addictive behavior less rewarding.

This grant money will allow them to test if it's as effective on opioids as it has been in trials on animals in testing the effects of this hormone on alcohol addiction. 

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