The overarching objective of this pilot study is to apply both neuroimaging and pharmacogenetic tools to the study of alcohol dependence. This proposed research will provide a mechanistic test of the function of the genetic variation. The specific aims and hypotheses are to test whether Sulfasalazine, as compared to placebo, diminishes blood-oxygen-level dependent (BOLD) response to alcohol cues in the striatum and prefrontal cortex (PFC). To test the hypothesis, we will compare Sulfasalazine treatment with placebo treatment on BOLD difference maps for the contrast alcohol minus control. We will also explore whether specific genetic variations influence this effect. A double-blind, placebo-controlled 2 (Medication: Sulfasalazine 1500 mg vs. placebo control) x 2 (Cue: Alcohol Cue vs. Control cue) within-subjects, crossover design will be used to test the hypothesis that Sulfasalazine reduces the BOLD response in the striatum and prefrontal cortex after exposure to alcohol cues. Twenty alcohol-dependent participants will complete two rounds of the study medication followed by an functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scan, during which they will complete an alcohol cue-exposure task. The order of the medication condition will be counterbalanced such that subjects will be randomly assigned to receive either Sulfasalazine (1500 mg) in the first session and placebo in the second session one week later (or vice versa). This pilot study will help to determine whether NMDA receptors play a role in cue-elicited activation of key areas of the brain implicated in the development and maintenance of substance use disorders. Furthermore, if Sulfasalazine reduces cue-elicited activation of these brain regions, as hypothesized; this study will lay the groundwork for a larger trial on the efficacy of Sulfasalazine as a treatment for substance use disorders.
Description: Test whether Sulfasalazine, as compared to placebo, diminishes blood-oxygen-level dependent (BOLD) response to alcohol cues in the striatum and prefrontal cortex (PFC). BOLD response refers to brain activation in response to the presence of oxygen in a particular part of the brain. To test the hypothesis, we will compare Sulfasalazine treatment with placebo treatment. During the fMRI scan session, participants will be presented with the alcohol cue task. We will compare the difference in BOLD response during the presence of alcohol vs. a novel substance during the alcohol cue task. Outcome data collected during the alcohol cue task will provide us with BOLD response data for each intervention period. We will analyze the outcome data using FSL (Oxford Centre for Functional MRI of the Brain (FMRIB) Software - a collection of functional and structural brain image analysis tools).Measure: % BOLD Response Increase Above Baseline Time: Over two weeks
There is one SNP
In an early study, an A to G single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP; rs1799971) of the mu opiate receptor gene (OPRM1) predicted 12 week abstinence after treatment of alcohol dependence with naltrexone (Oslin et al 2003).