Professor David Nutt, Imperial College London
Hannah - Before launching into the Naked Neuroscience tour for 2013, letís kick off the programme by catching up with Psychiatrist and Pharmacologist Professor David Nutt from Imperial College London to find out his top neuroscience nuggets for the year, starting with number 5.
David - The festival of neuroscience, that I helped to coordinate hosted by the British Neuroscience Association. Itís the first time weíve ever done it. Fantastic display of British and international neuroscience. A wonderful series of scientific posters, symposia and of course, in parallel, truly stunning public engagement process which attracted even more people in the festival put on by the Wellcome Trust. So, that was a truly memorable period of 4 days in London in April.
The second thing I would say is rather different. This year, I've seen a very unique discovery in relation to the treatment of addiction. A drug called normorphine has been licensed to help people cut down their drinking. Itís the first drinking modulator thatís ever been put on the market. This is very thrilling for me because it changes the whole paradigm in how we consider treating people who drink too much. We all know people that donít want to be alcoholic, donít want to drink too much but lose control. This drug helps them (we think) gain control. So, this is a truly radical innovation. It sets quite interesting challenges to neuroscientists to work out whether Ė how itís working. Does it actually improve self-control? Does it reduce reinforcement in craving? Thatís not understood yet, but it is first of its class and it could be very, very advantageous to millions of people worldwide who would like to stop drink binging but they can't pull it together when they start.
Hannah - Thanks to you David Nutt.