Tuesday December 10, 2019

A Brain Circuit Can Help Reverse Craving for Liquor, Says Study

Rats were surgically implanted with optic fibres aimed to shine light on the CRF neurons -- to make them inactive at the flip of a switch

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A photo made with a fisheye lens shows bottles of alcohol in a liquor store in Salt Lake City. The National Institutes of Health said Friday that it was canceling a study of moderate drinking's health benefits because the results could not be trusted. Beer and liquor companies were helping to underwrite it.
This June 16, 2016, file photo, taken with a fisheye lens, shows bottles of alcohol during a tour of a state liquor store, in Salt Lake City. Cheap liquor, wine and beer have long been best-sellers among Utah alcohol drinkers, but new numbers from Utah's tightly-controlled liquor system show local craft brews, trendy box wines and flavored whiskies are also popular choices in a largely teetotaler state. VOA

Scientists have found that they can reverse the urge to drink alcohol, finds a study, which may open the door to developing drug or gene therapies to control alcohol addiction.

The team at US-based Scripps Research used a laser treatment to temporarily inactivate a specific neuron, which not only reversed alcohol-seeking behaviour but also reduced the physical symptoms of withdrawal.

“This discovery is exciting. It means we have another piece of the puzzle to explain the neural mechanism driving alcohol consumption,” said Olivier George, Associate Professor at Scripps.

Although the treatment is far from ready for human use, George believes identifying these neurons opens the door to developing drug therapies or even gene therapies to control alcohol addiction.

For the study, reported in Nature Communications journal, the team tested the role of a subset of neurons in the ensemble, called corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) neurons. They found these CRF neurons make up 80 per cent of the ensemble.

Liquor (Representational image).

Rats were surgically implanted with optic fibres aimed to shine light on the CRF neurons — to make them inactive at the flip of a switch.

Once rats were alcohol dependent, the researchers withdrew alcohol, prompting withdrawal symptoms in rats. When they were offered alcohol again, rats drank more than ever. The CeA neuronal ensemble was active, telling rats to drink more.

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When the CRF neurons were inactivated, rats immediately returned to their pre-dependent drinking levels. The intense motivation to drink had gone. Inactivating these neurons also reduced the physical symptoms of withdrawal, such as abnormal gait and shaking.

“We were able to characterise, target and manipulate a critical subset of neurons responsible for excessive drinking,” said Giordano de Guglielmo, staff scientist at Scripps. (IANS)

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Currency, Liquor and FMCG Most Affected Sectors by Counterfeiting Activities

The menace of counterfeiting causes revenue loss of approximately Rs 1 lakh crore ($14.7 billion) annually to the Indian economy and curbing it

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Currency, Liquor, FMCG
In terms of States, Uttar Pradesh is most affected by counterfeit incidents followed by Bihar, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi, West Bengal, Maharashtra, Punjab and Gujarat. Pixabay

Currency, liquor and FMCG are among the most affected sectors by counterfeiting activities and the most number of counterfeit cases are reported in these sectors, according to a survey by Authentication Solutions Providers’ Association (ASPA).

The top 10 sectors with highest number of counterfeit cases for 2018 and 2019 are currency followed by liquor, FMCG (food and beverages), pharmaceuticals, FMCG (personal care), documents, tobacco, automotive, construction material and chemical.

In terms of States, Uttar Pradesh is most affected by counterfeit incidents followed by Bihar, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi, West Bengal, Maharashtra, Punjab and Gujarat.

Currency, Liquor, FMCG
The top 10 sectors with highest number of counterfeit cases for 2018 and 2019 are currency followed by liquor, FMCG (food and beverages), pharmaceuticals, FMCG (personal care), documents, tobacco, automotive. Pixabay

“The menace of counterfeiting causes revenue loss of approximately Rs 1 lakh crore ($14.7 billion) annually to the Indian economy and curbing it could give a huge boost to economic resources of the country. Be it pharmaceuticals, food and beverage, liquor, automobile, electronic goods, almost every sector is witnessing the damage. Even currency is not untouched,” a statement by ASPA said.

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ASPA is a self-regulated non-profit organisation that represents the entire as physical and digital authentication solutions industry globally. The association has taken on the task of nurturing the anti-counterfeiting ecosystem by sensitising consumers, brands and policymakers towards the menace of counterfeiting and creating awareness around the solutions. (IANS)