Future Newborns with Opioid-Induced Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) Could Be Assessed with the Genetic Addiction Risk Severity (GARS) Test and Potentially Treated Using Precision Amino-Acid Enkephalinase Inhibition Therapy (KB220) as a Frontline Modality Instead of Potent Opioids

Mauro Ceccanti, Kenneth Blum, Abdalla Bowirrat, Catherine A. Dennen, Eric R. Braverman, David Baron, Thomas Mclaughlin, John Giordano, Ashim Gupta, Bernard W. Downs, Debasis Bagchi, Debmalya Barh, Igor Elman, Panayotis K. Thanos, Rajendra D. Badgaiyan, Drew Edwards, Mark S. Gold

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

In this nonsystematic review and opinion, including articles primarily selected from PubMed, we examine the pharmacological and nonpharmacological treatments of neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) in order to craft a reasonable opinion to help forge a paradigm shift in the treatment and prevention of primarily opioid-induced NAS. Newborns of individuals who use illicit and licit substances during pregnancy are at risk for withdrawal, also known as NAS. In the US, the reported prevalence of NAS has increased from 4.0 per 1000 hospital births in 2010 to 7.3 per 1000 hospital births in 2017, which is an 82% increase. The management of NAS is varied and involves a combination of nonpharmacologic and pharmacologic therapy. The preferred first-line pharmacological treatment for NAS is opioid therapy, specifically morphine, and the goal is the short-term improvement in NAS symptomatology. Nonpharmacological therapies are individualized and typically focus on general care measures, the newborn–parent/caregiver relationship, the environment, and feeding. When used appropriately, nonpharmacologic therapies can help newborns with NAS avoid or reduce the amount of pharmacologic therapy required and the length of hospitalization. In addition, genetic polymorphisms of the catechol-o-methyltransferase (COMT) and mu-opioid receptor (OPRM1) genes appear to affect the length of stay and the need for pharmacotherapy in newborns with prenatal opioid exposure. Therefore, based on this extensive literature and additional research, this team of coauthors suggests that, in the future, in addition to the current nonpharmacological therapies, patients with opioid-induced NAS should undergo genetic assessment (i.e., the genetic addiction risk severity (GARS) test), which can subsequently be used to guide DNA-directed precision amino-acid enkephalinase inhibition (KB220) therapy as a frontline modality instead of potent opioids.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2015
JournalJournal of Personalized Medicine
Volume12
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2022

Keywords

  • dopamine homeostasis
  • genetic addiction risk severity (GARS)
  • hypodopaminergia
  • neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS)
  • opioids and alcohol common mechanism
  • reward deficiency syndrome (RDS)

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