DOST funds UP NIH studies on addiction, depression treatment

| Written by Padayon UP

Science Secretary Renato U. Solidum Jr. lead the tour of the facility at the National Institutes of Health at UP Manila that will be used for the research on addiction and depression. With him is Undersecretary for R&D Leah J. Buendia and UP Manila Chancellor Dr. Carmencita Padilla (Photo Credit: DOST).


Treatments for and management of addiction and depression may soon be available to Filipinos’ situation as a result of studies to be held at the National Institutes of Health, University of the Philippines (UP Manila-NIH) Manila.

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) provided funds for two behavioral studies for the treatment of addiction and depression to be made at the newly renovated animal laboratory at the UP Manila-NIH.

The facility was presented to DOST after a ribbon-cutting ceremony on January 27.

Science Secretary Renato U. Solidum Jr., Undersecretary for R&D Leah J. Buendia, and UP Manila Chancellor Dr. Carmencita Padilla led the brief ceremony and quick tour inside the facility. It will house the project, “Cessation of Toluene [Rugby] Addiction in Adolescents: Using a Rodent Model,” to test novel pharmacological and behavioral treatments for overcoming toluene craving.

“Research and development [R&D] provides an avenue for our country to develop better policies and programs to address pressing issues like drug addiction,” said Science Secretary Renato U. Solidum Jr.

“With the data that will be gathered from these projects, we can develop treatment and support the health and well-being of Filipinos, “ Solidum added.

The project aims to assess the effects of toluene on rats’ withdrawal and craving, anxiety, and social interaction.

It could also gauge the effectiveness of three treatments—two pharmacological and one behavioral—in reducing the behavioral and neurological effects of toluene withdrawal.

The newly reconstructed facility will also host the project titled, “Assessment Pharmacokinetic and Pharmacodynamic Interactions of Selected Psychobiotic and Antidepressant Drugs in Depression-like Rat Model.”

It will provide documented data on preventing adverse drug events and achieving therapeutic success when psychobiotics are co-administered with antidepressant drugs, sertraline, and fluoxetine in depression-like rat models.

The project also includes the measurement of behavioral responses, biochemical levels, and drug concentrations.

These two projects are under the program entitled, “Novel Approaches to Treatment of Addiction and Depression using Animal Models,” which is monitored by the DOST-Philippine Council for Health Research and Development.


(This article, written by S&T Media Services, was first published in BusinessMirror on 5 March 2023)