Cholesterol and fatty acids in cocaine addiction relapse

Summary

Principal Investigator: Laure Buydens-Branchey
Abstract: The goal of this project is to determine whether our preliminary findings of significant associations between low circulating levels of cholesterol and of some polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) and the relapse rate of detoxified cocaine addicts can be replicated in a larger population sample. Attempts will be also made to determine whether some factors such as poor nutritional habits contribute to the presence of altered cholesterol values or fatty acid profiles in some patients. The role of cholesterol and PUFAs has not been investigated in addictive disorders but our data can be understood in light of recent literature suggesting the existence of associations between low cholesterol levels and a number of psychiatric disorders including depression, suicide and violence. Cholesterol does not cross the blood-brain barrier but it has been suggested that it could be a marker for changes in PUFAs. There is mounting evidence that low levels of some PUFAs are also associated with a variety of psychiatric disorders. Some PUFAs are main components of neuronal synaptic membranes and influence neuronal function. Preclinical studies have demonstrated that PUFAs influence the function of dopamine and 5-HT that play a role in reward mechanisms. One hundred and twenty cocaine addicts admitted to a Substance Abuse Inpatient Unit will be studied. While on the ward, they will undergo assessments of cholesterol and its subfractions and of the entire fatty acids series. After discharge, they will be transferred to a Substance Abuse clinic where follow-up assessments will be conducted for 12 months. The primary outcome measures will be time to relapse as determined monthly by qualitative urine and selfreported use. Psychosocial functioning, cocaine craving and dietary intake will also be monitored monthly. Cholesterol and fatty acids will be determined every 3 months. If our preliminary findings are confirmed, the use of fatty acids supplements or changes in dietary habits could have a significant potential in the prevention of relapse in a subgroup of cocaine addicts.
Funding Period: 2002-09-27 - 2006-07-31
more information: NIH RePORT

Top Publications

  1. pmc Higher n-3 fatty acids are associated with more intense fenfluramine-induced ACTH and cortisol responses among cocaine-abusing men
    Laure Buydens-Branchey
    Narrows Institute for Biomedical Research, Brooklyn, NY 11209, USA
    Psychiatry Res 188:422-7. 2011
  2. ncbi n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids decrease anxiety feelings in a population of substance abusers
    Laure Buydens-Branchey
    New York Harbor Healthcare System, Brooklyn Campus, Brooklyn, NY 11209, USA
    J Clin Psychopharmacol 26:661-5. 2006
  3. pmc Long-chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids decrease feelings of anger in substance abusers
    Laure Buydens-Branchey
    Research Service 151 BK, VA New York Harbor Healthcare System Brooklyn Campus, 800 Poly Place, Brooklyn, NY, 11209, USA
    Psychiatry Res 157:95-104. 2008
  4. pmc Associations between increases in plasma n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids following supplementation and decreases in anger and anxiety in substance abusers
    Laure Buydens-Branchey
    Psychiatry Service, DVA New York Harbor Healthcare System, Brooklyn, NY 11209, USA
    Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry 32:568-75. 2008
  5. ncbi Low plasma levels of docosahexaenoic acid are associated with an increased relapse vulnerability in substance abusers
    Laure Buydens-Branchey
    Psychiatry Service, DVA New York Harbor Healthcare System, Brooklyn, New York, USA
    Am J Addict 18:73-80. 2009

Scientific Experts

Detail Information

Publications5

  1. pmc Higher n-3 fatty acids are associated with more intense fenfluramine-induced ACTH and cortisol responses among cocaine-abusing men
    Laure Buydens-Branchey
    Narrows Institute for Biomedical Research, Brooklyn, NY 11209, USA
    Psychiatry Res 188:422-7. 2011
    ..These findings support and expand existing evidence that EPA and DHA could influence 5-HT function in some human subgroups...
  2. ncbi n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids decrease anxiety feelings in a population of substance abusers
    Laure Buydens-Branchey
    New York Harbor Healthcare System, Brooklyn Campus, Brooklyn, NY 11209, USA
    J Clin Psychopharmacol 26:661-5. 2006
    ..042). In conclusion, these preliminary data indicate that n-3 PUFA supplementation could be beneficial in the treatment of some patients with anxiety disorders...
  3. pmc Long-chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids decrease feelings of anger in substance abusers
    Laure Buydens-Branchey
    Research Service 151 BK, VA New York Harbor Healthcare System Brooklyn Campus, 800 Poly Place, Brooklyn, NY, 11209, USA
    Psychiatry Res 157:95-104. 2008
    ..These data provide further support for emerging evidence indicating that supplementation with long-chain n-3 PUFAs could be beneficial in the treatment of some individuals with aggressive tendencies...
  4. pmc Associations between increases in plasma n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids following supplementation and decreases in anger and anxiety in substance abusers
    Laure Buydens-Branchey
    Psychiatry Service, DVA New York Harbor Healthcare System, Brooklyn, NY 11209, USA
    Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry 32:568-75. 2008
    ....
  5. ncbi Low plasma levels of docosahexaenoic acid are associated with an increased relapse vulnerability in substance abusers
    Laure Buydens-Branchey
    Psychiatry Service, DVA New York Harbor Healthcare System, Brooklyn, New York, USA
    Am J Addict 18:73-80. 2009
    ..The study of the efficacy of n-3 supplements or of dietary modifications on relapse appears warranted...