Scientists Have Found a Brain Circuit in Mice, Liable for Compulsive Alcohol Consumption

by Ernest Thomas
Scientists Have Found a Brain Circuit in Mice, Liable for Compulsive Alcohol Consumption

Alcohol has become an integral part of the modern lifestyle, or say, use of alcohol is wide-ranging in modern society. Now scientists have discovered the latest breakthrough which governs alcohol consumption. The most recent research focuses on disorders related to alcohol consumption or so-called addiction. Researchers say almost all people face exposure to alcohol at certain moments in their lives. But only a few of them develop the trouble of obsessive drinking. They have found a brain circuit that regulates the drinking disorder in mice. The latest finding pinpointing compulsive alcohol consumption has raised hope that someday we will have a medication for treating alcoholism in humans.

Scientists have long surmised to know the reason behind why some people are likely to develop drinking disorders while other people are not. Thus, if they transform the finding in humans, it may pave the way to know whether someone is probable to turn into a compulsive drinker in the future. Alcoholism refers to a chronic brain disorder in which a person drinks compulsorily. Many times, drinking disorder has a strong connection with negative emotions. Before this, many studies have concentrated on probing the brain after the development of a drinking disorder. But scientists from the Salk Institute, California, have revealed that brain circuits are somewhere liable to make people alcoholic. Kay Tye, study’s leading author and neuroscientist, said a brain circuit could precisely predict which mice will cause obsessive drinking. Notably, it can guess the behavior weeks before it starts.

Kay said the finding fills the gap between circuit analysis and studies of alcohol addiction. Even more, the discovery offers a first look at how symptoms of obsessive drinking develop over time in the brain. The scientists have developed a test – binge-induced compulsion task. Through the breakthrough, they intended to know exposure towards alcohol intake with experience to create irresistible drinking in mice. Besides, they have determined the mice could be divided into three groups, i.e., low-drinkers, high-drinkers, compulsive-drinkers. The researchers have also used a particular screening method to record the type of cells. They have even analyzed brain areas of interest before, during, and after drinking. Tye noted it remains unclear whether the brain circuit remains particular to alcohol or it is liable for other compulsive behaviors. The researchers have published the finding in the journal Science on Thursday.

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