Written by Honor Whiteman:
A drug used to treat alcoholism - called disulfiram - could bring us closer to a cure for HIV, according to the results of a new study led by researchers from the University of Melbourne in Australia.Study leader Prof. Sharon Lewin, of The Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity at Melbourne, and colleagues publish their findings in The Lancet HIV.
Disulfiram (brand name Antabuse) is a drug given to individuals with an alcohol use disorder to discourage them from drinking. It works by blocking an enzyme called dehydrogenase, which plays a role in metabolizing alcohol intake.
Inhibiting dehydrogenase causes acute sensitivity to alcohol; if patients consume alcohol while taking disulfiram, they will experience a number of unpleasant side effects, including headache, nausea, chest pain, vomiting, weakness, blurred vision, sweating and mental confusion.
But as well as helping to treat alcoholism, Prof. Lewin and colleagues found the drug could lead to a cure for one of the world's most serious and challenging diseases: HIV...Continue reading...