Scientist: Designing Alcohol Substitutes - Philadelphia News, Weather and Sports from WTXF FOX 29

Scientist: Designing Alcohol Substitutes

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No longer will you have to try your friend's hangover cure, because a new product could skip the hangover all together.

A scientist exploring the effects of alcohol on the brain said that booze without the hangover is closer than you think. Not only that, but he's also working on an instant drunkenness cure too. The scientist's name is David Nutt, and he's busy devising a substitute beverage that can eliminate the toxic health effects of all those martinis and Mai Tais on the liver, heart and brain.

Writing in The Guardian, David Nutt, a professor of neuropsychopharmacology and director of the Neuropsychopharmacology Unit at Imperial College in London, claims that he had identified five compounds that are effective alcohol surrogates that mimic the effects of booze on the brain. Also, he's designed antidotes that can immediately block their effects.

To test them out, Nutt said he had a few drinks, in the name of science, to sample a possible compound.

"After exploring one possible compound, I was quite relaxed and sleepily inebriated for an hour or so. Then, within minutes of taking the antidote, I was up giving a lecture with no impairment whatsoever," he wrote.

Alcohol works its wonders and horrors by targeting the neurotransmitter Gamma Aminobutyric Acid (GABA), which inhibits different areas of the brain. Nutt, a former chair of a U.K. Advisory Committee on the Misuse of Drugs, said that other compounds could easily target the same neurotransmitter systems without the harmful aftereffects on the rest of the body.

"In theory we can make an alcohol surrogate that makes people feel relaxed and sociable and remove the unwanted effects, such as aggression and addictiveness," he said.

Nutt said he envisioned the new drink in cocktail format in a range of tastes. He said he is seeking funding for testing and marketing the product "to see if people find the effects as pleasurable as alcohol."

Already, people all over social media are volunteering to be test subjects.

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