Latest scientific discovery a cure for binge drinking and alcoholism?
The journal Nature Neuroscience has just published the results of a unique study on binge drinking and brain chemistry. Scientists at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine have discovered a natural protein in the brain that shows potential for suppressing episodes of binge drinking. It may even prevent some people from becoming an alcoholic. The protein Neuropeptide Y (NPY) acts in the part of the brain known as the extended amygdala, or bed nucleus of the stria terminalis. This area of the brain is associated with stress and reward.
The anti-drinking affect increases inhibition on a group of cells that produce a pro-drinking molecule called corticotropin releasing factor (CFR). Scientists introduced synthetic NPY using engineered proteins and were able to suppress binge alcohol drinking in mice.
Scientists also discovered that the normal NPY production mechanism is altered by long-term alcohol consumption in multiple species. This could either indicate a useful diagnostic marker or even a treatment for alcohol dependency and abuse.
According to professor of psychology Todd Thiele: “The identification of where in the brain and how NPY blunts binge drinking, and the observation that the NPY system is compromised during early binge drinking prior to the transition to dependence, are novel and important observations.
The gist of their findings is restoring NPY to normal levels may not only be useful in treating alcohol abuse and dependency, but it may also protect some people from alcoholism in the first place. The findings also seem particularly suited to combating episodes of binge drinking
Previous studies relating to NPY have shown that mice who lacked NPY receptors were less likely to consume alcohol than control groups who had the receptors. Other studies have pointed to other proteins like RGS6 that may influence alcohol craving as well.
It is too soon to make any predictions as to when or if drug manufacturers will capitalize on this research.
Detoxing from alcohol without professional medical help can be extremely dangerous without the correct medical help. Call us today on 080 774 7024 now for more information on binge drinking, alcohol dependency and whether or not you are at risk.