Neuronutrient amino-acid therapy protects against reward deficiency syndrome: Dopaminergic key to homeostasis and neuroplasticity

Kenneth Blum, Marcelo Febo, Rajendra D. Badgaiyan, Eric R. Braverman, Kristina Dushaj, Mona Li, Zsolt Demetrovics

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Willuhn et al., observed that habitual cocaine use was correlated with reductions in D2/D3 receptors linked to decreased cue activation in occipital cortex and cerebellum. Dopamine agonist therapy maintains dopamine function and is a relapse prevention tactic focused on psychoactive drug and behavioral addictions. Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) with emphasis on glutaminergic medications fails in the long-term treatment of Reward Deficiency Syndrome Behaviors (RDS). While the careful use of “dopamine antagonist-therapy” short-term is supported, the research-based concept of “dopamine agonist therapy” in long-term is proposed. Neurogenetics and epigenetics are important in understanding treatment response and clinical outcomes. The neuro–mechanisms involving “dopamine homeostasis” are key to understanding recovery from drug and non–drug addictive behaviors. For example, patients who carry the DRD2 A1 allele (30-40 less D2 receptors) should consider Neuronutriant–Amino-Acid therapy (KB220 variants) a prevention modality. DRD2 A1 allele carriers show amplified striatal function of L-amino acid decarboxylase, prior to dopamine biosynthesis. Another example is the effect of Acute Tyrosine Phenylalanine Depletion (ATPD) on decision-making and reward found carriers with amino-acid deficiency (ATPD). They experienced attenuated reward and reduced decision-making ability as quantified by Iowa Gambling Task (IGT).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5837-5854
Number of pages18
JournalCurrent pharmaceutical design
Issue number38
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Dopamine homeostasis
  • Dopamine resistance
  • Enkephalinase inhibition
  • Epigenetics
  • KB220 variants
  • Neurogenetics
  • Neuronutrient–amino-acid therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Drug Discovery
  • Pharmacology


Dive into the research topics of 'Neuronutrient amino-acid therapy protects against reward deficiency syndrome: Dopaminergic key to homeostasis and neuroplasticity'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this