Summary #1098

A key brain region for controlling binge drinking has been found

web.musc.edu
  • Repeated binge drinking, the pattern of drinking that often leads to alcohol use disorders, might be caused by kappa opioid receptors in the brain.
  • In a lab test on mice, turning off the kappa opioid receptors decreased the mice’s need to binge drink.
  • What’s interesting, is that this kappa opioid receptor is actually the “anti-reward system”, which produces stress, discontent and hangovers.
  • This could mean that the root cause of overusing alcohol lies in the very mechanism that makes us feel bad after drinking—but, again, it’s only been tested in mice.
  • Study authors don’t know why this happens, and the study itself is only a small step towards understanding alcohol or substance abuse disorders.

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