Copyright Manisses Communications Group 1993
Alcoholism & Drug Abuse Week
July 12, 1993
CLASS: Trade & Industry
LOAD-DATE-MDX: January 13, 1994
SECTION: Vol. 5 ; No. 28 ; Pg. 5; ISSN: 1042-1394
LENGTH: 191 words
HEADLINE: Ibogaine found toxic in lab tests.
BODY: Ibogaine someday could be used to treat opiate and cocaine addiction, but a new study places a stumbling block in the path to approving the drug’s use.
Researchers at Johns Hopkins say animal tests show ibogaine leads to degeneration of nerve cells in the cerebellum. The animal-study results are not necessarily applicable to humans. But the drug was found to be toxic both at low- and high-dosage levels. “Further studies are needed to determine whether there is a dose level that is both safe and effective for humans,” says researcher Mark E. Molliver, M.D.
The study did not look at the effect of ibogaine treatment on drug addiction. Molliver notes, however, that the drug’s apparent impact on the cerebellum could mean that addiction is related to the function of this organ, which controls muscular movement.
The researchers are investigating how ibogaine produces its toxic effects and whether the damage can be prevented while preserving any therapeutic value the drug might have.
The Johns Hopkins study was published in the June 21 issue of Neuroscience and was funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse.