Monday September 24, 2018

What Causes Alcohol Addiction?

The team analysed GAT-3 levels in brain tissue from deceased humans who had documented alcohol addiction

0
//
24
What Causes Alcohol Addiction?
What Causes Alcohol Addiction? (IANS)
Republish
Reprint

Molecular mechanisms including lower levels of a protein in the brain may be the reason why addicts choose alcohol over an alternative reward, finds a study that may help improve treatment for alcohol dependence.

The study suggested that the level of a transporter protein GAT-3, situated in the amygdala region of the brain — responsible for emotional reactions — was lower among the alcohol addicts.

“We have to understand that a core feature of addiction is that you know it is going to harm you, potentially even kill you, and nevertheless something has gone wrong with the motivational control and you keep doing it,” said Markus Heilig from the Linkoping University in Sweden.

In the study, published in the journal Science, the team used a mouse model to measure the expression of hundreds of genes in five areas of the brain.

What Causes Alcohol Addiction?
Alcoholic beverages. Pixabay

The team investigated the role of reduced GAT-3 levels in rats that initially preferred sweetened water over alcohol. After the reduction, they were again presented with the choice between alcohol and sugar.

They found that 15 per cent of the outbred rats chose alcohol over a high-value reward.

Also Read: US Cancels A Planned Alcohol Study Over Trust Issues

“Decreasing the expression of the transporter had a striking effect on the behaviour of these rats. Animals that had preferred the sweet taste over alcohol reversed their preference and started choosing alcohol,” said lead investigator Eric Augier.

Further, the team analysed GAT-3 levels in brain tissue from deceased humans who had documented alcohol addiction. They found lower levels of the protein in them than in the control individuals. (IANS)

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2018 NewsGram

Next Story

Alcohol Kills More People Than AIDS, Violence Combined: WHO

Alcohol consumption overall is unevenly distributed around the globe, with well over half of the world's population over the age of 15 abstaining completely.

0
Alcohol
A pint of beer is poured into a glass in a bar in London, Britain, VOA

Alcohol kills three million people worldwide each year — more than AIDS, violence and road accidents combined, the WHO said Friday, adding that men are particularly at risk.

The UN health agency’s latest report on alcohol and health pointed out that alcohol causes more than one in 20 deaths globally each year, including drink driving, alcohol-induced violence and abuse and a multitude of diseases and disorders.

Men account for more than three quarters of alcohol-related deaths, the nearly 500-page report found.

Alcohol
An infographic from the World Health Organization about the effects of alcohol on health worldwide. VOA

“Far too many people, their families and communities suffer the consequences of the harmful use of alcohol through violence, injuries, mental health problems and diseases like cancer and stroke,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a statement.

“It’s time to step up action to prevent this serious threat to the development of healthy societies,” he added.

Drinking is linked to more than 200 health conditions, including liver cirrhosis and some cancers.

Alcohol abuse also makes people more susceptible to infectious diseases such as tuberculosis, HIV and pneumonia, the report found.

Alcohol
Middle-aged adults must have ‘drink-free’ days: UK health body. Pixabay

The some three million alcohol-related deaths registered globally in 2016 — the latest available statistics — account for 5.3 percent of all deaths that year.

In comparison, HIV/AIDS was responsible for 1.8 percent of global deaths that year, road injuries for 2.5 percent and violence for 0.8 percent, the study showed.

The latest numbers are lower than those in WHO last report on global alcohol consumption, published in 2014.

There are “some positive global trends,” the agency said, pointing to shrinking prevalence of heavy episodic drinking and of alcohol-related deaths since 2010.

Alcohol
Alcohol is linked with 7 cancers.

But it warned that “the overall burden of disease and injuries caused by the harmful use of alcohol is unacceptably high,” especially in Europe and the Americas.

Globally, an estimated 237 million men and 46 million women suffer from alcohol use disorders, WHO said.

Also Read: There’s No Healthy Level for Consuming Alcohol, Lancet Study Confirms

Alcohol abuse affects nearly 15 percent of men and 3.5 percent of women in Europe, and 11.5 percent of men and 5.1 percent of women in the Americas, it pointed out.

Alcohol consumption overall is unevenly distributed around the globe, with well over half of the world’s population over the age of 15 abstaining completely. (VOA)