Why do some people crave alcohol and others don’t? Why do some people follow moderate alcohol consumption, whereas others get addicted to it? The latest neuroscientific research which reveals new findings of the alcohol facts will answer these questions.
According to the newest calculations, in America, over 15 million adults or over 6 percent of the population suffers from alcohol use disorder.
Alcohol and other related problems are responsible to kill roughly 88,000 people each year. In fact, It is the “third major preventable cause of death” in the U.S.
Alcohol consumption also causes other disorders, including different types of cancer and liver cirrhosis.
But why some of us are more prone to alcohol? The answer is dopamine, which plays a key role in controlling the flow of information from the brain’s other region. Additionally, dopamine also left us on the track of addiction. At the brain, the alcohol forces the neurons in an area called the ventral tegmental area (VTA) to release dopamine.
Investigators at the Center for Alcohol Research in Epigenetics at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) conducted a new research study on binge drinking and alcohol use disorder. Their study was published in the journal Neuropharmacology.
In one experiment, the researchers formed a mouse model in which they reduced potassium channel called KCNK13 by 15 percent.
The KCNK13-deprived mice consumed 20–30 percent more alcohol compared to their normal counterparts
Prof. Brodie said, “We believe that mice with less KCNK13 in the VTA drank more alcohol in order to achieve the same ‘reward’ from alcohol as normal mice, presumably because alcohol was triggering the release of less dopamine in their brains.”
Mark Brodie is a professor of physiology and biophysics in the UIC College of Medicine and also the lead author of the study.
“If someone has naturally lower levels of this channel, then in order to produce the pleasurable effects of alcohol, that person would have to drink much more, and may be at higher risk for binge drinking disorder,” Brodie said.