London: A new research suggested that the medication for diabetes and obesity can treat alcohol dependency.
Swedish researchers identified that interfering with the hormone GLP-1 could be a target for treating alcohol dependence.Researchers have found that a medication that resemble GLP-1, which is used to treat Type-2 diabetes as well as obesity, also could be used to treat alcohol dependence.
Alcohol dependence causes morbidity as well as mortality and is a major health problem in today’s society.
“We suggest that medications that resemble GLP-1 could be used to treat alcohol dependence in humans,” said one of the researchers Elisabet Jerlhag from Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg in Sweden.
Usually, dopamine is released in the brain’s reward center in response to drinking alcohol, which leads to a sense of euphoria.
The GLP-1-like substance prevents the ability of alcohol to increase dopamine in reward areas in the mice, suggesting that they no longer experience a reward from alcohol, the findings showed.
“The GLP-1-like substance reduced the alcohol consumption by 30-40 percent in rats that drank large quantities of alcohol for several months,” Jerlhag noted.
The researchers found that the diabetes medication also reduced the motivation to drink alcohol in rats that were bred to drink a lot of alcohol. The medication also prevented relapse drinking in rats, which is major problem for alcohol dependent individuals.
The study was published in the journal Addict Biology.
Daily drinkers, please take note. Researchers now reveal that heavy drinking in old age was linked to a 1.5 inch (4cm) larger waist and increased stroke risk in men.
However, stopping heavy drinking at any point in life is likely to be beneficial for overall health.
The study, published in the journal Addiction, examined the association between heavy drinking over a lifetime and a range of health indicators including cardiovascular disease.
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“Alcohol misuse, despite the common perception of young people, binge drinking, is common among older adults, with alcohol-related hospital admissions in England being the highest among adults aged over 50,” said study first author Dr Linda Ng Fat from University College London in the UK.
For the findings, the researchers used data from the “Whitehall II” cohort, which collected information from UK civil servants, aged 34-56 years at study outset, since 1985-88.
The final sample for this study was made up of 4,820 older adults, aged between 59 and 83 years. The mean (average) age was 69, and 75 per cent were male. A heavy drinker was identified using the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test for Consumption (AUDIT-C).
The screening tool consists of just three questions and assesses how often you drink, how much you drink, and how often you binge (have six or more drinks). Participants were asked on a single occasion to complete the AUDIT-C retrospectively for each decade of their life, from 16-19 to 80 and over.
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This information was used to categorise their life-time drinking pattern: never hazardous drinker, former early hazardous drinker (stopped before age 50), former later hazardous drinker (stopped at age 50 or after), current hazardous drinker, and consistent hazardous drinker (during every decade of their life).
More than half of drinkers (56 per cent) had been hazardous drinkers at some point in their life, with 21 per cent being current hazardous drinkers and 5 per cent being consistent hazardous drinkers.
The findings showed that former early hazardous drinkers on average had a 1.17 cm larger waist than never hazardous drinkers, whereas former later hazardous drinkers, current hazardous drinkers and consistent hazardous drinkers had a waist circumference that was 1.88 cm, 2.44 cm and 3.85cm larger. respectively.
Overall, the research found that heavy alcohol consumption over a lifetime is associated with higher blood pressure, poorer liver function, increased stroke risk, larger waist circumferences and body mass index (BMI) in later life, even if you stop drinking heavily before age 50. (IANS)