Alcoholism linked to dopamine response in the brain -

17th of August, 2013 Bookmark and Share
17th August, 2013 USA ( : According to a new study researchers suggested that people who are vulnerable to evolving alcoholism demonstrate a specific brain response when drinking alcohol.

Compared to people at low risk for alcohol-use problems, those at high danger showed a greater dopamine response in a brain pathway that increases cravings for rewards. These findings could help shed light on why some people are more at risk of suffering from alcoholism and could mark an important step toward the development of treatment options.

There is accumulating evidence that there are multiple pathways to alcoholism, each linked with a distinct set of personality traits and neurobiological features. These individual differences likely affect a wide range of behaviors, both positive and problematic. The study implies that a tendency to experience a large dopamine response when drinking alcohol might subscribe to one (or more) of these pathways.

For the study, researchers recruited 26 healthy social drinkers (18 men, 8 women), 18 to 30 years of age. The higher-risk subjects were then recognized based on personality traits and having a lower intoxication response to alcohol (they did not feel as drunk despite having drunk the same amount). Eventually, each participant underwent two positron emission tomography (PET) brain scan exams after drinking either juice or alcohol (about 3 drinks in 15 minutes).

We found that people vulnerable to developing alcoholism experienced an unusually large brain dopamine response when they took a drink. This large reaction might energize reward-seeking behaviors and counteract the sedative consequences of alcohol. Conversely, people who experience minimal dopamine release when they drink might find the sedative consequences of alcohol particularly pronounced.

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Fionn Flemming
Fionn Flemming is a Medical Student and a freelancer who is specialized in writing health related articles and disease. He is associated with many Pharmacies for whom he writes articles based on general health related issues and generic drugs like Edegra, Kamagra Polo, Penegra, Zenegra. For more please visit us :