Sybil-AA: Systems Biology of Alcohol Addiction
The Horizon 2020 project Sybil-AA (Systems Biology of Alcohol Addiction) focuses on modeling and validating disease state networks in human and animal brains for understanding pathophysiology, predicting outcomes and improving therapy in alcohol addiction. Alcohol addiction, the most severe form of alcohol disorders, is a multifactorial and extremely complex disease, which concerns more than 23 million Europeans and leads to a loss of 20 years in average life expectancy. A better understanding of the changes occurring in the brain of alcohol addicts to find effective treatment is therefore urgently needed. The Sybil-AA project aims to find novel ways to detect vulnerability to alcoholism early in life and to manipulate the alcoholic brain to lead to more healthy network dynamics, aiming for personalized treatment approaches.
Identification of brain connectome alterations that can point to novel alcoholism treatments and potential biomarkers that are predictive of clinical efficacy relies on translational efforts, as in carried out by this consortium composed of leading researchers covering many different disciplines, from functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to mathematical modeling and simulation via metabolomics, in both humans and animal models. Metabolomics will be used to investigate the possible neurochemical alterations in different brain regions of a postdependent rat model, sacrificed at different time-points during abstinence and upon treatment.