A National Directory of Drug Treatment Centers and Alcohol Treatment Centers, Therapists and Specialists. A free, simple directory providing assistance and guidance for those seeking help regarding alcohol addiction, drug addiction, dependency and many other conditions that affect the mind, body and soul.
Call 800-580-9104 to speak with an alcohol or drug abuse counselor.

Brain imaging study offers insight into alcohol's effect on brain

A new brain imaging study has provided insight into alcohol’s effect on the brain.

The study showed that after consuming alcohol, social drinkers had decreased sensitivity in brain regions involved in detecting threats, and increased activity in brain regions involved in reward.

This is the first human brain imaging study of alcohol’s effect on the response of neuronal circuits to threatening stimuli.

“The key finding of this study is that after alcohol exposure, threat-detecting brain circuits can’t tell the difference between a threatening and non-threatening social stimulus,” said Marina Wolf, PhD, at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, who was unaffiliated with the study.

For the study, researchers at the National Institutes on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism worked with a dozen healthy participants who drink socially.

They used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to study activity in emotion processing brain regions during alcohol exposure.

Over two 45-minute periods, researchers have the study participants either alcohol or a saline solution intravenously and showed images of fearful facial expressions.

The same group of participants were given both alcohol and placebo, on two separate days.

After comparing brain activity, researchers found that when participants received the placebo infusion, fearful facial expressions spurred greater activity than neutral expressions in the amygdala, insula, and parahippocampal gyrus, brain regions involved in fear and avoidance, as well as in the brain’s visual system.

But these regions showed no increased brain activity when the participants were intoxicated.

Besides this, researchers found that alcohol activated striatal areas of the brain that are important components of the reward system.

These findings support the idea that activation of the brain’s reward system is a common feature of all drugs of abuse.

Researchers found that the level of striatal activation was linked to how intoxicated the participants reported feeling.

These striatal responses help account for the stimulating and addictive properties of alcohol.

“I think the authors have set the standard for how studies on acute alcohol consumption should be conducted in the fMRI literature,” said Read Montague, PhD, at the Baylor College of Medicine, also unaffiliated with the study.

“The findings are a stepping stone to more liberal use of imaging methodologies to advance our understanding of addiction,” he added.

The study is published in the April 30 issue of The Journal of Neuroscience.

source: Asian News International

More Treatment & Detox Articles

Can I Get Insurance for Addiction Treatment?

addiction treatment program

Many people who find themselves in the need for quality addiction treatment wonder if there are any forms of insurance coverage available to assist in paying for the cost of treatment. While there are not state mandates in every state (not as of yet anyway) there are some ways that you can get insurance for….

Continue reading

We treat alcohol like fruit juice now ..this has to stop

The night out was jokingly billed as “the messiest” in town but the reality was nothing to laugh about. Hammered teenagers guzzled strong lager for £1 a pint at the rowdy student club night. Tottering drinkers quickly lost all powers of self-control and wrestled with each other to be served first. Worryingly, these sort of….

Continue reading

Daily alcohol limit ‘unhelpful’

Daily limits on alcohol consumption are meaningless and potentially harmful, experts have warned. The government says men should drink no more than three to four units per day and women no more than two to three. Liver specialist Dr Nick Sheron, of the Alcohol Health Alliance UK, says these limits were devised by civil servants….

Continue reading

NHS feeling the burden as binge drinking becomes a British affliction

When the Government published its alcohol strategy in 2004, it concluded that drink was a problem for a “small minority” in Britain. The repeated warnings from health professionals, the statistics on alcohol-related ill health and hospital treatment, and the calculations of cost to the NHS tell a very different story. The annual number of hospital….

Continue reading