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Australian university conducts new research into drug-free therapy for alcoholics | Updated: 2012-08-14 15:59

Queensland University of Technology (QUT) is conducting research into a new drug-free treatment helping alcohol-dependent people, the Australian university with an applied emphasis in courses and research said on Tuesday.

QUT researchers will test a combination of drug-free therapies that has helped people who depend on alcohol to get through the day to halve their drinking within 10 weeks.

The study will look at how the therapy has changed brain structure.

QUT psychology researcher Esben Strodl said volunteers who signed up for the free course of therapy in the new study at the university's School of Psychology and Counseling would assist the research by having their brain waves and heart rates monitored before and after the therapy.

"Participants in our most recent study reduced their drinking from 55 standard drinks a week to 25 within 10 weeks," Strodl said in a statement.

QUT is seeking 20 people of any age up to 65 who drank 28 standard drinks a week (if they are men) or 14 standard drinks a week (if they are women) and who feel they have a drinking problem for the new study.

"Once they have completed the therapy we will record two involuntary responses -- changes in heart rate and changes in brainwave patterns -- when they see pictures of alcohol-related situations," Strodl said.

"Any changes will tell us whether the therapy's success has also brought about physiological changes related to the change in cravings."

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