The obsessive desire to drink rats managed to stop

The obsessive desire to drink rats managed to stop

Russian pharmacologists have found that by administering substances that activate some of the proteins-receptors of the Central nervous system in rats reduced the compulsive consumption of water. It is noteworthy that with the re-introduction of the drug resistance effect does not develop.


This discovery can be used to develop new approaches to the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder and some other mental illnesses. The article was published in the journal Neuropharmacology. Research supported by a grant from the Russian science Foundation (RNF).

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Mental disorder is one of the most neglected types of disease. The doctors still don’t know how to effectively treat some of them. According to who, about 870 million people living in Europe, around 100 million experiencing anxiety and depression, more than 7 million suffer from Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. A number of mental illnesses associated with what a person are formed obsessive thoughts, from which he is trying to get rid, persistently repeating the same actions.

In the brain structures that are involved in signal transmission between cells by means of hormones such as epinephrine, norepinephrine and dopamine, there is a special type of receptor, TAAR1. These receptors represent transmembrane proteins associated with the secondary signaling systems. Scientists on rats have checked up, how does their activating substance (agonist).

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If a hungry rat is placed in a special chamber, where it is every minute is to slice the feed, the animal begins to drink water in large quantities. Thus at the hour of the rat can drink the volume of fluid daily requirement.

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This phenomenon can be explained as a protective reaction of the organism to stress or accumulation of motivational potential (“energy” motivation), which is spent on incremental behavioral responses. As drinking in this case becomes obsessive, it is regarded as preclinical model of compulsive behavior.

The behavior of rats, scientists were analyzed by several parameters: the amount of water you drink, the number of licks to the spout of the bottle with water, duration of drinking. Scientists have discovered that the introduction of an activator (agonist) TAAR1 amount of water you drink is reduced. This effect is dose-dependent: the more drug is injected, the less water drank by the animals. In control experiments, the authors proved that the test compound affects it on the drink, not the feeling of thirst and physical activity.