Neuroimmune Dysfunction in Alcohol Use Disorder

  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    University of Maryland, Baltimore
Updated on 7 October 2022
heavy drinking
alcohol use disorder
Accepts healthy volunteers


The objective of this proposal is to advance medication development for alcohol use disorder by examining the efficacy and mechanisms of action of minocycline, a neuroimmune modulator, as a potential treatment. This study has important clinical implications, as the available treatments for alcohol use disorder are only modestly effective and testing novel medications is a high research priority.


The research objective of this project is to characterize the role of the neuroimmune system in alcohol use disorder (AUD). The proposed study employs a randomized, double-blind, and placebo-controlled design to examine how neuroinflammation, as measured via neuroimaging [e.g., magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)], relates to alcohol craving, neurocognitive impairment (e.g., memory, attention, etc.), and alcohol use in non-treatment seeking individuals with AUD. The study will also determine whether minocycline (MINO), an FDA-approved antibiotic medication, affects any of the above listed measures. In the proposed study, healthy controls (n = 36) and non-treatment seeking individuals with a current Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM)-5 AUD diagnosis (n = 36) will be randomized to receive either 200 mg of minocycline per day or placebo for approximately 28 days and complete two laboratory sessions. The first laboratory session will be performed immediately before commencing the medication regimen (day 0) and the second will be completed after taking the medication daily for approximately 28 days. Within each laboratory session, participants will complete a cue reactivity paradigm, neurocognitive performance tasks, and a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) session. Additionally, blood samples will be drawn on days 0, 7, 14, 21, and 28 of treatment to measure circulating levels of proinflammatory molecules in order to identify the specific immune signaling pathways underlying neuroinflammation in AUD. Clinical labs (e.g., blood chemistry, liver function tests) and adverse events (AEs) will also be assessed at these five visits.

Condition Drug abuse, Cognitive Disorder, cognition disorders, Alcohol Dependence, Alcohol use, Chemically-Induced Disorders, pathologic processes, pathological process, Minocycline, Cognitive Dysfunction, anti-infectives, pathological processes, psychiatric disorder, psychiatric illness, Anti-Infective Agents, disease or disorder, Cognitive Deficits, Antibiotic, Drinking Behavior, psychiatric disease, neurocognitive disturbance, psychiatric diseases, Neurocognitive Disorders, antibacterial agents, antibacterial drugs, Cognitive Deficit, Inflammation, antiinfective, Alcohol Use Disorder, pathologic process, antibacterial, alcohol dependence syndrome, Disease, mental disorders, psychological disorder, chronic alcoholism, Psychological Disorders, alcoholism, Alcohol-Related Disorders, Cognitive Impairments, mental disease, Substance Abuse, alcohol related disorders, Mental illness, disorder attention, anti-infective agent, anti-infective, Neurocognitive Disorder, psychotic, Drug use, antibacterial agent, other disease, attention disorders, Alcohol abuse, antibacterials, Cognitive Impairment, cognitive disorders, psychiatric disorders, psychotic disorder, psychotic disorders, mental disorder, Psychosis
Treatment sugar pill, Minocycline
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT04210713
SponsorUniversity of Maryland, Baltimore
Last Modified on7 October 2022

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