Monday April 22, 2019

Scientists Discover a Genetic Variant that can Suppress the desire of Drinking Alcohol

A shift from heavy to moderate social drinking could have major public health benefits, such as reduced cardiovascular disease risk

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Representational image. Pixabay

New York, November 29, 2016: In a step that could lead to development of drugs to regulate alcohol consumption, researchers have identified a gene variant that suppresses the desire for a drink.

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“The findings are based on the largest genome-wide association meta-analysis and replication study to date mapping and comparing the genetics — the DNA — of more than 105,000 light and heavy social drinkers,” said a corresponding author of the study David Mangelsdorf, Chair of Pharmacology at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.

“The study identified a variation in the beta-Klotho gene linked to the regulation of social alcohol consumption. The less frequent variant — seen in approximately 40 per cent of the people in this study — is associated with a decreased desire to drink alcohol,” he said.

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Like many complex traits, the genetic influences on brain functions affecting drinking behaviour were thought to be so small that it would be necessary to study large numbers of people in order to detect those genetic variations, Mangelsdorf said.

The study compared the genetics of light and heavy social drinkers of European ancestry participating in nearly four dozen other large population studies worldwide.

The findings, published online in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), could lead to development of drugs to help those with drinking problems.

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A shift from heavy to moderate social drinking could have major public health benefits, such as reduced cardiovascular disease risk.

Increased alcohol consumption is linked to two heart disease risk factors in particular — high blood pressure and obesity, according to the American Heart Association. (IANS)

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Know Which Gene in Your Body Could Help Brain Heal Itself After A Stroke

It is unlikely that gene therapy delivered by viruses will become the go-to treatment for strokes.

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Jung further added that not all inflammation in the brain is bad as it plays a role in fighting infection and helps clear away dead tissue. However, inflammation for a long duration could lead to the death of neurons. Pixabay

Researchers have found that a gene could help the brain heal itself after a stroke or any other head-related injuries.

The study, published in Cell Reports, suggested that a dose of the TRIM9 gene could reduce brain swelling after stroke, prevent damage following a blow to the head (concussion) or encephalitis, which is the inflammation of the brain.

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The is because TRIM9 is abundant in the youthful brain but grows scarce with age. Pixabay

In addition, in a lab model, the researchers from the University of Southern California found that older brains with low TRIM9 levels — or engineered brains missing the TRIM9 gene entirely — were prone to extensive swelling following a stroke.

The is because TRIM9 is abundant in the youthful brain but grows scarce with age.

On the other hand, when the team used a harmless virus to carry a dose of the gene directly into TRIM9-deficient brains, the swelling decreased dramatically and recovery improved, the findings further revealed.

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The study, published in Cell Reports, suggested that a dose of the TRIM9 gene could reduce brain swelling after stroke, prevent damage following a blow to the head (concussion) or encephalitis, which is the inflammation of the brain. Pixabay

It is unlikely that gene therapy delivered by viruses will become the go-to treatment for strokes, head injuries or encephalitis as the best shot at treating stroke is within the first 30 minutes to one hour, said lead author Jae Jung at the varsity.

Also Read: This Slum School in Gurugram Has Walls That Speak Through its Wall Paintings

Jung further added that not all inflammation in the brain is bad as it plays a role in fighting infection and helps clear away dead tissue. However, inflammation for a long duration could lead to the death of neurons. (IANS)