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Combining GPR139 modulator and Kratom as a Potential Medication for Opioid Use Disorder

Description 
The current opioid epidemic is one of the most severe public health crisis globally, and this is expected to get worse during the post-pandemic era. In addition, a new wave of prescription opioids is consuming the market and complicating the already complicated pandemic. To overcome these problems, the Harm Reduction movement has introduced alternative opioid-like substances. However, these treatment options are potentially addictive and produce highly aversive states of withdrawal syndrome when they are abruptly discontinued. Kratom, derived from the plant Mitragyna speciosa, is receiving increased attention as an alternative to traditional opiates and as a replacement therapy for opiate dependence and as an economical alternative to self-treat pain (see https://www.nst.com.my/news/nation/2021/11/748574/experts-high-time-legalise-medical-cannabis-kratom). However, kratom's addictive property and growing numbers of its abuse cases limit its therapeutic potential for opioid addiction. The gap we have in research is whether these beneficial effects of Mitragyna can be overcome, thus making the substance a safer and more effective treatment option for opioid dependence.
Essential criteria: 
Minimum entry requirements can be found here: https://www.monash.edu/admissions/entry-requirements/minimum
Keywords 
cognition, drug abuse, addiction, reward, neuroscience, psychiatric disorder
Available options 
PhD/Doctorate
Masters by research
Time commitment 
Full-time
Top-up scholarship funding available 
Yes
Year 1: 
$24000
Year 2: 
$24000
Physical location 
School of Medicine Sunway Campus, Malaysia
Co-supervisors 
Prof 
Ishwar Parhar
Assoc Prof 
Sivakumar A/L Thurairajasingam
Assoc Prof 
Zurina Binti Hassan
(External)

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