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

Warning over early exposure to alcohol

Giving children alcohol at an early age increases their risk of becoming drink-dependent at a later stage in life, according to new research. The claim challenges the long-held notion that introducing children to alcohol in small measures over time may prevent teenage binge drinking. The new study, by the US National Institute on Alcohol Abuse….

Continue reading

New Medications May Offer Hope to Drinkers Battling Alcohol Dependence

Individuals who experience the physical, mental and social symptoms associated with alcohol dependence are offered hope through the results of two recent studies by researchers at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC). In separate investigations, researchers found favorable results for a medication to help heavy drinkers who are trying to modify their consumption, as….

Continue reading

Drunks who attack hospital staff face pubs and clubs ban

A New scheme to ban people from city centre pubs and clubs if they assault hospital staff after a night out has been welcomed by Health Minister Edwina Hart. But Alcohol Concern in Wales said while the idea is “useful”, it believes some of the root causes of drink-fuelled violence, such as irresponsible supermarket and….

Continue reading

When You’re the Adult Child of an Alcoholic Parent

You may not drink, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t affected by alcoholism. If you are the adult child of an alcoholic parent, learn how to cope with the effect alcoholism has had on your life. When a parent abuses alcohol, the whole family suffers. Children are especially at risk. Growing up in an alcoholic….

Continue reading

Understanding the Treatments for Anorexia

anorexia rehab

According to the world renowned Mayo Clinic the definition of Anorexia Nervosa (Anorexia) is: “an eating disorder that causes people to obsess about their weight and the food they eat” (Mayo Definition). Anorexia can cause unrealistic expectations of body type and a distorted view of body image, causing Anorexia suffers to starve themselves trying to….

Continue reading