This study examines the effects of the medication gabapentin and the supplement n-acetylcysteine among individuals with Bipolar Disorder who regularly drink alcohol. Participants in this study will take gabapentin, n-acetylcysteine, and matched placebo (one at a time) for 5 days each. There are 8 study visits, including 3 MRI scans.
Bipolar disorders (BD) and substance use disorders (SUD) co-occur very frequently, and co-occurring BD and SUD are associated with devastating public health costs. Unfortunately, there has been very little neurobiological research involving individuals with co-occurring BD and SUD to guide the development of effective treatments for this treatment-resistant population. In response to this clinical need, the proposed study will evaluate a potential mechanistic model of BD and alcohol dependence (AD) co-occurrence, involving shared neurochemical and neurobehavioral dysregulations, that could help to identify novel therapeutic targets for individuals with co-occurring BD and AD. Additionally, the MRS follow-up sub-study will evaluate the effects of recent alcohol drinking (<=48hrs vs >=1 week) on brain neurochemistry in individuals with co-occurring BD and AD.