Overcoming qEEG abnormalities and reward gene deficits during protracted abstinence in male psychostimulant and polydrug abusers utilizing putative dopamine D₂ agonist therapy: part 2

Postgrad Med. 2010 Nov;122(6):214-26. doi: 10.3810/pgm.2010.11.2237.


Background: It is well established that in both food- and drug-addicted individuals there is "dopamine resistance" associated with the DRD2 gene A1 allele. Based on earlier studies, evidence is emerging wherein the potential of utilizing a natural, nonaddicting, safe, putative D2 agonist may play a significant role in the recovery of individuals with reward deficiency syndrome, including those addicted to psychoactive chemicals.

Findings: Positive outcomes demonstrated by quantitative electroencephalographic (qEEG) imaging in a randomized, triple-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study involving oral Synaptose Complex KB220Z™ showed an increase of alpha waves and low beta wave activity in the parietal brain region. Using t statistics, significant differences observed between placebo and Synaptose Complex KB220Z™ consistently occurred in the frontal regions after week 1 and then again after week 2 of analyses (P = 0.03). This is the first report to demonstrate involvement of the prefrontal cortex in the qEEG response to a natural putative D2 agonist (Synaptose Complex KB220Z™), especially evident in dopamine D2 A1 allele subjects. Independently, we have further supported this finding with an additional study of 3 serious polydrug abusers undergoing protracted abstinence who carried the DRD2 A1 allele. Significant qEEG differences were found between those who received 1 dose of placebo compared with those who were administered Synaptose Complex KB220Z™. Synaptose Complex KB220Z™ induced positive regulation of the dysregulated electrical activity of the brain in these addicts. The results are indicative of a phase change from low amplitude or low power in the brain to a more regulated state by increasing an average of 6.169 mV(2) across the prefrontal cortical region. In the first experiment we found that while 50% of the subjects carried the DRD2 A1 allele, 100% carried ≥ 1 risk allele. Specifically, based on the proposed addiction risk score for these 14 subjects, 72% had moderate-to-severe addiction risk. Similar findings were obtained by repeating the experiment in 3 additional currently abstinent polydrug abusers carrying the DRD2 A1 allele.

Conclusion: This seminal work will provide important information that may ultimately lead to significant improvement in the recovery of individuals with psychostimulant and polydrug abuse problems, specifically those with genetically induced dopamine deficiency. Based on this small sample size, we are proposing that with necessary large populations supporting these initial results, and possibly even additional candidate genes and single nucleotide polymorphisms, we may eventually have the clinical ability to classify severity according to genotype and possession of risk alleles, along with offering a safe, nonaddicting, natural dopaminergic receptor agonist that potentially upregulates instead of downregulates dopaminergic receptors, preferably the D2 subtype.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Adult
  • Behavior, Addictive / drug therapy
  • Behavior, Addictive / genetics
  • Central Nervous System Stimulants / administration & dosage
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Dopamine Agonists / administration & dosage*
  • Electroencephalography / drug effects*
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Polymorphism, Genetic*
  • Receptors, Dopamine D2 / genetics*
  • Reward*
  • Risk Assessment
  • Substance Withdrawal Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Substance Withdrawal Syndrome / drug therapy*
  • Substance Withdrawal Syndrome / genetics
  • Substance-Related Disorders / diagnosis
  • Substance-Related Disorders / drug therapy*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / genetics*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Central Nervous System Stimulants
  • Dopamine Agonists
  • Receptors, Dopamine D2