Home > Targeting unmet clinical needs in the treatment of alcohol use disorder.

Lohoff, Falk W (2022) Targeting unmet clinical needs in the treatment of alcohol use disorder. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 13, 767506. doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2022.767506.

External website: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyt...

Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) is a chronic psychiatric disorder marked by impaired control over drinking behavior that poses a significant challenge to the individual, their community, the healthcare system and economy. While the negative consequences of chronic excessive alcohol consumption are well-documented, effective treatment for AUD and alcohol-associated diseases remains challenging. Cognitive and behavioral treatment, with or without pharmaceutical interventions, remain the most commonly used methods; however, their efficacy is limited. The development of new treatment protocols for AUD is challenged by difficulty in accurately measuring patterns of alcohol consumption in AUD patients, a lack of a clear understanding of the neuropsychological basis of the disorder, the high likelihood of AUD patients relapsing after receiving treatment, and the numerous end-organ comorbidities associated with excessive alcohol use. Identification and prediction of patients who may respond well to a certain treatment mechanism as well as clinical measurement of a patient's alcohol exposure are bottlenecks in AUD research which should be further addressed. In addition, greater focus must be placed on the development of novel strategies of drug design aimed at targeting the integrated neural pathways implicated in AUD pathogenesis, so that next-generation AUD treatment protocols can address the broad and systemic effects of AUD and its comorbid conditions.

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