those with higher blood concentrations of aldosterone also had higher cravings for alcohol, higher anxiety and consumed more alcohol,” Leggio said. “The results suggest that neuroendocrine pathways may shed light on the mechanisms of how some individuals drink excessive amounts of alcohol.”
The NIAAA research was supported by the National Institutes of Health and has now been published in the Molecular Psychiatry journal.
“This study is an initial step toward a better understanding of the role of aldosterone and its mineralocorticoid receptor in alcohol drinking. It’s now important to investigate the potential causality link by conducting preclinical studies and then, if appropriate, clinical studies.”
Leggio also said he believes his latest study could be the first step in providing real-world breakthroughs to provide more effective help for those struggling with alcoholism. “The results suggest that the aldosterone pathway and its receptor may represent a novel target to develop pharmacological treatments for patients with alcohol use disorder,” he added. “The ultimate goal is investigating whether this information may eventually lead to better treatments for our patients suffering from alcohol use disorder.”