Saturday, August 23, 2008

Epilepsy drug reverses rat obesity

From the Globe and Mail:
An epilepsy drug being tested for use in treating addiction can help obese rats shed weight, U.S. government researchers said on Wednesday.

Their findings point not only to an easy treatment for obesity, but show it to be similar to drug addiction, they said.

Even rats bred to be obese lost up to 19 per cent of their weight, and normal rats lost 12 to 20 per cent of their weight after 40 days of injections of the drug, called vigabatrin or GVG, the team at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory found.

"When we gave GVG, they would steadily lose weight, and when we took them off GVG, they would steadily gain weight," Amy DeMarco, who worked on the study, said in a telephone interview.

"It was like a roller coaster. It was also dose-dependent. Rats given higher doses would lose more weight." She added that her team saw no side effects in the rats.

Vigabatrin, sold as Sabril in Canada, Mexico and Britain by Sanofi Aventis, is being tested in people now for cocaine and methamphetamine addiction. ...more

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