Kappa-PET Imaging and Naltrexone in Alcohol Drinking Behaviors


The primary purpose of the study is to increase our knowledge of receptor function in the brains of people who are heavy drinkers and taking naltrexone (NTX), a medication that has been approved for the treatment of alcohol dependence. Receptors are special molecules in the brain to which other molecules (neurotransmitters) attach during the normal every-day workings of the brain. Drugs can bind to those receptor molecules as well. Recent evidence suggests that kappa opioid receptors (KOR's) may play an important role in alcohol drinking behavior. This study will try to determine if naltrexone's ability to attach to these receptors is related to its effectiveness. We will use PET (positron emission tomography) for this study. PET is a type of imaging device found in nuclear medicine. It is used for tracking the presence of injected radioactive materials in the body.

Study Start Date

February 2011

Estimated Completion Date

June 2018


  • Drug: Naltrexone


  • Psychiatry: Neuropsych Sciences,Substance Abuse
  • Neurology: Neuropsych Sciences
  • Family Medicine: Substance Abuse
  • Radiology: CT/SPECT/PET

MeSH Terms

  • Alcohol Drinking
  • Drinking Behavior
  • Naltrexone

Study ID

Yale University -- 1011007710



Trial ID


Study Type


Trial Phase

Phase 1

Enrollment Quota



Yale University

Inclusion Criteria

  • Ages 21-50
  • Able to read English at 6th grade level or higher and to complete study evaluations
  • Regular alcohol drinker

Exclusion Criteria

  • Individuals who are seeking alcohol treatment
  • Medical conditions that would contraindicate the use of study medication
  • Regular use of other substances




21 Years to 50 Years

Accepts Healthy Volunteers


Study Locations and Contact Information (2)

Study Location Distance Name Phone Email
Sac Cmhc - New Haven, Connecticut 17.3 miles None None None
Sac Cmhc - New Haven, Connecticut 17.3 miles Nicholas Franco BA 203-974-7679 nicholas.franco@yale.edu

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