Thursday April 18, 2019

Brain’s immune system affects the drinking behavior at night, suggests study

The team switched off the impulse to drink alcohol by giving mice a drug that blocks a specific response from the immune system in the brain

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Drinking behavior can alter risk of developing cancer. Pixabay
  • Brain’s immunity has been found to affect one’s drinking behavior at night
  • The team switched off the impulse to drink alcohol by giving mice a drug
  • A significant reduction in the mice’s alcohol drinking behavior was reported 

New Delhi, September 17, 2017: Love to drown yourself in a peg of whiskey each evening? It may be due to impulsiveness of the brain’s immune system, according to a study.

The findings showed a link between the brain’s immunity and the motivation to drink alcohol at night.

This may be because our body’s circadian rhythms affect the “reward” signals we receive in the brain from drug-related behaviour and the peak time for this reward typically occurs during the evening or dark phase, the researchers said.

“Alcohol is the world’s most commonly consumed drug and there is a greater need than ever to understand the biological mechanisms that drive our need to drink alcohol,” said lead author Jon Jacobsen, PhD student at the University of Adelaide, Australia.

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“We wanted to test what the role of the brain’s immune system might have on that reward and whether or not we could switch it off,” Jacobsen added.

In the study, published in the journal Brain, Behaviour and Immunity, the team switched off the impulse to drink alcohol by giving mice a drug that blocks a specific response from the immune system in the brain.

The researchers administered the drug (+)-Naltrexone, which is known to block the immune receptor Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) in mice.

The results showed a significant reduction in alcohol drinking behaviour by mice that had been given (+)-Naltrexone, specifically at night when the reward for drug-related behaviour is usually at its greatest.

“We concluded that blocking a specific part of the brain’s immune system did in fact substantially decrease the motivation of mice to drink alcohol in the evening,” Jacobsen said.

These findings point to the need for further research to understand the implications for drinking behaviour in humans, the researchers noted. (IANS)

Next Story

Research Revels, Consuming Alcohol Even Once A Day Raises Risk of Heart Stroke

"There are no protective effects of moderate alcohol intake against stroke. Even moderate alcohol consumption increases the chances of having a stroke," said Zhengming Chen, Professor at the University of Oxford in the UK. 

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The researchers stressed that stronger policies are required adding that the alcohol industry, which is thriving, should be regulated in a similar way to the tobacco industry. Pixbay

While it is known that excess drinking is harmful for health, a new study suggests that even consuming one or two alcoholic drinks a day can raise stroke risks, challenging previous claims.

The study, published in The Lancet journal, showed that alcohol directly increases blood pressure and the chances of having a stroke.

 

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According to the World Health Organization, stroke is the second leading cause of death and the third leading cause of disability globally and claims 6.2 million lives each year. Pixabay

“Stroke is a major cause of death and disability. This study has shown that stroke rates are increased by alcohol. This should help inform personal choices and public health strategies,” said Liming Li, Professor at the Peking University in China.

“There are no protective effects of moderate alcohol intake against stroke. Even moderate alcohol consumption increases the chances of having a stroke,” said Zhengming Chen, Professor at the University of Oxford in the UK.

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The study, published in The Lancet journal, showed that alcohol directly increases blood pressure and the chances of having a stroke. 
Pixabay

According to the World Health Organization, stroke is the second leading cause of death and the third leading cause of disability globally and claims 6.2 million lives each year.

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The researchers stressed that stronger policies are required adding that the alcohol industry, which is thriving, should be regulated in a similar way to the tobacco industry.

For the study, the researchers involved 500,000 Chinese men and women for a period of 10 years. (IANS)