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New Genes Associated with Binge Drinking

 

Researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine have identified two genes associated with binge drinking that may result in new and more effective treatments for binge drinking.
 
It is estimated that 30 percent of American adults binge drink and about 75,000 people die each year from the effects of binge drinking. The research study found that treatments manipulate both receptors in the brain and “caused profound reduction” of binge drinking for two weeks in rodents that had been bred and trained to drink alcohol excessively.
 
“This is the kind of drinking we see with college students on spring break, and even some adults,” said Harry June, Ph.D., the lead author of the study. “It doesn’t meet the classic definition of alcoholism, characterized by dependence and a long period of drinking followed by withdrawal. But binge drinking carries the same serious health risks as other types of excessive drinking: cancer, heart disease, and, most notably, the serious public health issue of vehicle accidents.”
 
The new research study found that treatments that manipulate those two receptors in the brain may reduce anxiety and control alcohol cravings.

 

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