New research has come up with some interesting details on what compels people to consume alcohol. According to the research, a protein in the brain significantly affects the way people consume alcohol.
Protein Linked To Circadian Rhythm Affects Alcohol Consumption
Surprisingly, it is the same protein that is responsible for regulating the decision-making process. Apart from that, it also analyses the reward that people get from taking such decisions. This is found in the front side of the brain.
When research was done on mice, it was observed that the protein behaved differently in male and female species. While the absence of this protein made male mice consume more, the female mice consumed less alcohol. The Bmal1 gene that is generated in the striatum is believed to be responsible for this behavior. Interestingly, this is a crucial element that manages the circadian rhythm in all mammals. Our sleeping and waking cycle is regulated by this part of the brain.
The mice used in the study were divided into two groups. In one group, the Bmal1 gene was deleted and it was untouched in the other group. Even when the gene was removed in one group, it was only removed from the striatum region and it was kept intact in other parts of the body as it is essential to manage the sleep-wake cycle of mammals.
Male mice that had the gene removed consumed more alcohol while females that had the gene removed consumed less alcohol. It is interesting to note that female mice consume more alcohol than males in normal circumstances. The researchers also mentioned that other functions like the sleep-wake cycle were not affected after the gene was removed in one group.
Many experts believe that this can open up new doors for treating alcohol addiction in humans. It is generally observed that women consume less alcohol than men and are also less dependent on alcohol in general. However, when women start depending on alcohol, they suffer more adverse effects than men due to less tolerance for alcohol.
The treatments available currently to treat alcohol addiction do not differentiate between men and women. However, the results of the new research show that different approaches can be taken to tackle alcohol addiction in men and women. In this way, the outcome will be better as shown in the experiment done on mice.
Millions of people across the US suffer from alcohol addiction and most of them are not even aware that they have a problem. The biggest problem with alcohol dependency is that it impacts the social life of the person. This can slowly lead to financial problems and other issues related to working.
In this way, the brain gets trapped into a cycle of running away from problems and taking refuge in alcohol. While this behavior is seen more in men, it can also affect women. It is important to note that women, in general, have less tolerance for alcohol and this makes them drink lesser than men in most cases.
Binge drinking is also found more in men than women due to unknown reasons. It is commonly seen during parties and other events. However, doctors are sure that binge drinking affects men and women differently. The after-effects of alcohol consumption are also slightly different for men and women. The experiment done on mice has brought to light important differences in the brain of males and females with regards to alcohol consumption.
Going by the results of the new research, scientists can work on improved methods to treat alcohol addiction problems in humans. When a different approach is taken to treat men and women, it may lead to a better outcome in the long run.