Alcohol addiction located in the “stop” and “go” centres of the brain: study

The Prevention Conversation: A Shared Responsibility Project

Alcohol addiction located in the “stop” and “go” centres of the brain: study

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Scientists investigating the neurological bases contributing to alcoholism and other addictive behaviours have found two type of brain cells that when activated, either tell the person to keep on drinking or to stop.

Using mice that were habituated to regularly consume alcohol, researchers at Texas A&M’s College of Medicine found that after repeated cycles of alcohol intake and alcohol withdrawal,specific neural pathways in the striatum region of the mouse brain – responsible for stimulus-response learning and reward-reinforcement behaviour – were strengthened while the signal along other pathways became less powerful.

The research team found that these “go” and “no go” neural pathways, called D1 and D2 dopamine receptors, effectively create the neurological framework for addiction. “These results provide insight into the synaptic and cell type-specific mechanisms underlying alcohol addiction,” say the study’s authors, whose work is…

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