Can These Enzymes Help Treat Alcoholism?

For substance abuse issuesFemale scientist, many providers leverage evidence-based therapies like cognitive behavioral therapy and medication-assisted treatments to help individuals start a new sober lifestyle.

And, many researchers are starting to push the boundaries in terms of advancing the field of addiction treatment to explore new methodologies. In one good example, scientists at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) are exploring the use of digestive enzymes to prevent liver damage caused by an excessive consumption of alcohol. And, with great success.

To conduct their study, the researchers administered alcohol to mice that mirrored the patterns of binge drinking. Over the course of ten days, the mice received regular doses of alcohol at 12-hour intervals. The researchers then offered some of the mice intestinal alkaline phosphatase (IAP), an intestinal enzyme that prevents bacterial toxins from passing from the gastrointestinal system into the bloodstream.

The results of the study suggest that administering the  IAP enzyme reduces the risk of liver damage and inflammation. Mice who received a dose of IAP exhibited lower levels of an enzyme associated with liver disease and inflammatory markers.

“Liver damage is one of the most devastating effects of excess alcohol consumption, and so blocking this process could save millions of lives lost to alcohol-related liver diseases such as cirrhosis and liver cancer,” says Richard Hodin, MD, a lead author of the study. “Along with direct toxic effects on the liver itself, alcohol appears to damage the liver through its effects on the intestinal lining, allowing bacterial toxins from the gut to cross the barrier and reach the liver. Since we know that IAP works to maintain a healthy gut barrier by blocking passage of an important toxic molecule, we investigated its potential to protect the liver from alcohol-induce damage.”

While additional work needs to be done to investigate the effects of IAP administration in clinical trials, these initial results are certainly promising. We look forward to seeing even more research conducted to further the addiction recovery community as a whole.

Faith-Based Treatment for Alcohol Dependency

At Christian Rehab Network, we specialize in helping individuals who are dealing with addictions to drugs and alcohol. Our treatment approach leverages a combination of therapies and church-based guidance to help inform the recovery process. We offer supervised drug detox services, inpatient addiction treatment and support for those with co-occurring behavioral health issues. To learn more, contact us today at (877) 310-9545.

[Research] Predicting Depression Treatment Effectiveness

Depressed women sitting on the floorDepression is a complex disease. Symptoms can range from irritability, feelings of worthlessness and loss of energy, just to name a few. (Some individuals even report physical changes such as gastrointestinal problems and chronic joint pain.)

The signs and symptoms of depression vary and the therapies designed to manage the condition are diverse as well. And, patients react to those treatments in different ways. Given that, how can clinicians pinpoint which therapy (or combination of therapies) for depression will work the best?

Answering this question underlies the basis of the research directed by Conor Liston, a psychiatrist at Weill Cornell Medical College. Liston and his team are currently working to classify the various subtypes of depression using MRI scans of the brain and then identify the most effective treatments for each subtype.

The scientists first scanned the brains of 1,118 research participants. Among those, 458 had already received a clinical diagnosis of depression.  Specifically, they wanted to better understand the level of activity among the medial prefrontal cortex and other areas of the brain. After reviewing the MRIs for various patterns of brain activity, Liston and team were able to identify four distinct depression subtypes.

And their results were remarkable. Among those with depression, they found that each subtype responded very differently to various therapies and medications. Based on the research findings, the scientists could predict how to best treat the patient for depression just by reviewing an image of their brain activity. In general, patients that exhibited a lot of activity in their medial prefrontal cortex responded more quickly to cognitive behavioral therapy in contrast to individuals with lower levels of activity in that region of the brain.

“The type of brain that responds to psychotherapy is where there’s a strong pattern of connectivity between the frontal areas of the brain, which are involved more in thinking, talking, and problem-solving, etc., with other portions of the brain. Whereas people who have low connectivity — the opposite pattern — respond to the medication,” says psychologist W. Edward Craighead, one of the authors of this study.

Mental Health Treatment for Christians

Individuals with behavioral health issues, such as depression, often struggle with addiction. That’s why we specialize in offering a variety of mental health services for Christians. To help address a complex dual-diagnosis, we can help with medication management, group and individual therapy and faith-based support. If you are dealing with behavioral health and addiction issues, please call (877) 310-9545 to explore your addiction treatment options at Christian Rehab Network.

Bible Verses for Your Easter Weekend Celebration

Female hands in prayerEaster weekend is almost here and if you’re like most Christians, it represents an opportunity to reflect on the meaning of the holiday. Christ’s resurrection and his ultimate sacrifice for us.

For many Christians, Easter Sunday also represents an opportunity to spend the day with family and friends. If you plan on going to church this Sunday with your loved ones, why not make the day even more memorable by taking the time to study the Bible together as a group. By talking about the scripture and having an honest discussion about the meaning of the text, you can strengthen your relationship with Christ – and with your loved ones.

If you’re going to church this Sunday, considering hosting a group Bible study to explore God’s word with your family and friends.

To get started, you might consider pulling together some Bible verses that speak to you and ask your friends and family members to do the same. Here are a few of the most inspirational Bible verses that can help remind you of Christ’s love and miraculous resurrection.

Psalm 34:8: Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.

Isaiah 40:28-31: Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

Romans 15:13: May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

John 4:9-11: In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

However you choose to spend the day, the team at Christian Rehab Network wishes you a happy Easter weekend!

Christian Addiction Treatment

At Christian Rehab Network, we use a unique combination of evidence-based therapies and faith-based support to help individuals pursuing a new life of sobriety. We offer a wide range of services at our Christian addiction treatment centers including inpatient care, outpatient services and sober living facilities. To learn more about Christian rehab offerings, please give us a call today at (877) 310-9545.