Specific neurons in the central nucleus of the amygdala regulate alcohol consumption.
A single shot of ketamine administered to heavy drinkers following reactivation of their drinking memories led to a rapid decrease in the urge to drink. The effect lasted for over nine months.
Teenage binge drinking is linked to altered gene expression in the brain, specifically the central nucleus of the amygdala. Adolescent rats exposed to alcohol had increased levels of miR-137, resulting in lower expression of proteins essential for healthy neuron growth. During adulthood, these rats displayed higher levels of anxiety and an increased preference for alcohol consumption.
Ketamine reduced alcohol intake in male rat models of alcohol use disorder but increased the desire for alcohol in low-consumption females.
Neural patterns of activity in the medial prefrontal cortex associated with the intention to drink alcohol are influenced by the genetic risk for alcohol use disorder.
For those with a genetic predisposition for alcohol use disorder (AUD), being in a romantic relationship appears to reduce the high risk to succumbing to alcohol abuse. This protective effect is limited to males only, suggesting males with a genetic risk for AUD may benefit more from romantic relationships.
Neuroimaging study reveals teens with more gray matter in the caudate nucleus and left cerebellum were at increased risk of problem alcohol use over time. The findings reinforce the idea that brain structure differences may contribute to both psychiatric and substance use disorders.
Drinking small amounts of alcohol, like one pint of beer or a large glass of wine, significantly impairs our feeling of being in control of our actions. A new study reveals even one beer can lead to overconfidence in driving ability and make us act in inappropriate, potentially dangerous ways. The study begs the question, are current alcohol limits for driving truly safe?
Genome-wide study identifies five novel alcohol use risk loci which can pass on the risk of developing alcohol abuse disorder from parents to children.