Thursday April 18, 2019

What Causes Alcohol Addiction?

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

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What Causes Alcohol Addiction?
What Causes Alcohol Addiction? (IANS)

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)

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.

Also Read: How Maz Jobrani Uses Comedy to Bridge Culture Divide?

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)