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Valium without dependence? Individual GABAA receptor subtype contribution toward benzodiazepine addiction, tolerance, and therapeutic effects

Authors Cheng T, Wallace DM, Ponteri B, Tuli M

Received 1 February 2018

Accepted for publication 22 March 2018

Published 23 May 2018 Volume 2018:14 Pages 1351—1361

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/NDT.S164307

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Andrew Yee

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Roger Pinder

Tianze Cheng,1 Dominique Marie Wallace,2 Benjamin Ponteri,1 Mahir Tuli3

1Pitzer College, Claremont, CA, USA; 2Portland State University, Portland, OR, USA; 3University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada

Abstract: Benzodiazepines are one of the most prescribed medications as first-line treatment of anxiety, insomnia, and epilepsy around the world. Over the past two decades, advances in the neuropharmacological understanding of gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA)A receptors revealed distinct contributions from each subtype and produced effects. Recent findings have highlighted the importance of α1 containing GABAA receptors in the mechanisms of addiction and tolerance in benzodiazepine treatments. This has shown promise in the development of tranquilizers with minimal side effects such as cognitive impairment, dependence, and tolerance. A valium-like drug without its side effects, as repeatedly demonstrated in animals, is achievable.

Keywords: benzodiazepines, subtype, tolerance, dependence, anxiolytic, GABAA receptor

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