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Here's the reason behind alcohol addiction

In the study, published in the journal Science, the team used a mouse model to measure the expression of hundreds of genes in five areas of the brain.  

Edited by: India TV Lifestyle Desk, New Delhi [ Published on: June 26, 2018 13:29 IST ]
Here's the reason behind alcohol addiction 

Here's the reason behind alcohol addiction 

You might have seen many people addicted to alcohol, but do you know the reason? According to a new study molecular mechanism including lower levels of a protein in the brain is likely to be the reason addicts choose alcohol over an alternative reward.

The study suggested that the level of a transporter protein GAT-3, situated in the amygdala region of the brain -- responsible for emotional reactions -- was lower among the alcohol addicts.

"We have to understand that a core feature of addiction is that you know it is going to harm you, potentially even kill you, and nevertheless something has gone wrong with the motivational control and you keep doing it," said Markus Heilig from the Linkoping University in Sweden.

In the study, published in the journal Science, the team used a mouse model to measure the expression of hundreds of genes in five areas of the brain.

The team investigated the role of reduced GAT-3 levels in rats that initially preferred sweetened water over alcohol. After the reduction, they were again presented with the choice between alcohol and sugar.

They found that 15 per cent of the outbred rats chose alcohol over a high-value reward.

"Decreasing the expression of the transporter had a striking effect on the behaviour of these rats. Animals that had preferred the sweet taste over alcohol reversed their preference and started choosing alcohol," said lead investigator Eric Augier.

Further, the team analysed GAT-3 levels in brain tissue from deceased humans who had documented alcohol addiction. They found lower levels of the protein in them than in the control individuals.

(With IANS Inputs)

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