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.

Nepal-born scholar in alcoholism neuroscience breakthrough

Finding could spawn novel ways to treat alcoholism, epilepsy

A team of researchers, with Nepali-born Prafulla Aryal as key member, of the Salk Institute of Biological Sciences in La Jolla, California, has located the alcohol-binding site in the brain that could pave the way to a whole new approach to treating alcoholism, drug addiction, abuse-related brain diseases, and epilepsy.

Aryal was born in Jayabageshwari, Kathmandu in 1981 and did his schooling until the fifth grade at Siddhartha Banasthali School. He migrated to the United States in 1991 and is now a US citizen. After receiving undergraduate education from the University of Colorado-Boulder, he joined the PhD program at the University of California-San Diego in 2003. Now a permanent resident of Denver, Colorado, Aryal´s role was instrumental to the finding.

alcohol in the brain

Alcohol in a protein within the brain maybe the cause of alcoholism.

After zeroing in on a potential alcohol-binding site in the brain, Aryal systematically introduced amino acid substitutions to the site to deny alcohol molecules access to the site. After he introduced the substitution, alcohol no longer had its effect, thus confirming that it was indeed the alcohol-binding site in the brain.

The binding-site is not only responsible for the brain´s response to alcohol, but also to epileptic seizures.

The finding by Aryal and his team, published by the Science Daily on Tuesday, is the closest that scientists have reached in understanding how alcohol affects the brain.

With the finding, “it may be possible to develop a drug that antagonizes the actions of alcohol for the treatment of alcohol dependence,” said the Institute in a statement.

Alternatively, if scientists could find a novel drug that fits the alcohol-binding site, this would dampen overall neuronal excitability in the brain and perhaps provide a new tool for treating epilepsy too, the team´s leader Dr Paul A Slesinger, associate professor in the Peptide Biology Laboratory at the Salk Institute, said in the statement.

In an e-mail to myrepublica.com, Aryal said he had been working on the study at Dr Slesinger´s lab at the Salk Institute for the past four years, as part of his thesis work in the field of neuroscience.

“This work shows, for the first time, a direct binding site for alcohol in a protein involved in alcohol´s action in the brain. This is a very novel and significant finding in the field of alcohol research and neuroscience,” Aryal wrote to myrepublica.com in an e-mail.

He further wrote that the finding was significant in that it sheds light on how exactly alcohol acts on the brain to alter its function. “I think, it is a great advancement in our knowledge about alcohol and for scientists that originated from Nepal,” Aryal wrote.

Other members of the research team are Dr Senyon Choe, a professor in the Structural Biology Laboratory, and Dr Hay Dvir, a postdoctoral researcher in Choe´s lab.

This work was supported by National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and on General Medical Sciences, the HN & Frances Berger Foundation and the Salk Institute for Biological Studies.

The Salk Institute, a not-for-profit organization, was founded by Dr Jonas Salk, who discovered the Polio vaccine and chose to distribute it throughout the world, without proprietary concern, to eradicate the disease.

source: My Republica

More Treatment & Detox Articles

‘Take a look at your boozing’

People should take an honest look at their alcohol intake before they cross the line into addiction, the head of a Tayside alcohol dependency support group said today. Catherine Lawson, chairwoman of the Tayside Alcohol Problem Service Clients’ Council, said it was vital for people to be aware of their personal drinking habits to ensure….

Continue reading

Alarm over the child drinkers with liver disease

Shops and supermarkets could face new legal curbs on the sale of cut-price alcohol in an attempt to control rising levels of under-age and binge drinking. An audit commissioned by the Home Office has found widespread abuse by drinks retailers of voluntary codes of practice intended to prevent alcohol abuse. The conclusion of the study,….

Continue reading

Dangers of Underage Drinking

There is nothing positive about underage drinking. Teenagers sometimes get behind the wheel and drive under the influence which is a big issue. According to studies by the National Crime Prevention Council, automobile crashes related to underage drinking are the leading cause of death for teens. Approximately 36% of traffic deaths of 15- to 20-year-olds….

Continue reading

Addiction Basics

Understanding the basics of substance abuse and addiction can help you to better understand when it’s time to get help. Though it may be overwhelming to attempt to keep up with everything pertaining to addiction, the latest trends in treatment and the latest drugs, you can keep up with the basics. This is especially essential….

Continue reading

Adolescents and Alcohol

Adolescents and Alcohol Problem

Does your child get drunk? How do you know? Do anyone else’s kids drink? Think it can’t happen to you? Maybe you don’t have adolescent children, but you drive on the roads here. Do you want a drunken teenager coming at you in the left lane? This is your issue too. Every day 4,500 young….

Continue reading