A single dose of alcohol can permanently alter the brain, according to a study

A single dose of alcohol can permanently alter the brain, according to a study

America is the region where most alcoholic beverages are consumed (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
America is the region where most alcoholic beverages are consumed (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

in America, alcoholic beverages This is about 40% higher than the world average. Its consumption kills 85,032 people every year. now one research in germany Provided data to focus more on the effects of alcohol consumption. they found that Just One Dose of Alcohol Can Permanently Change the Brain while using animals,

The study was carried out by a research team from the University of Cologne and the Universities of Mannheim and Heidelberg. They found that the administration of alcohol alone also permanently altered the morphology of neurons. Specifically, alcohol affects the structure of the synapse and the dynamics of mitochondria.

Some experiments used the fruit fly, which generally serves as a model for research related to human health.
Some experiments used the fruit fly, which generally serves as a model for research related to human health.

Using the Fruit Fly Genetic Model System Drosophila melanogasterProfessor Heinrich Scholz and his team members Michel Tegtmayer and Michael Bergera showed that alterations in the migration of mitochondria at the synapse reduce the rewarding effects of alcohol. These results suggest that a single event of drinking can set The foundations of alcohol addiction. The study was published in the journal PNAS of the United States Academy of Sciences.

Before doing the work, the researchers wondered what changes occur in the brain with the transition from occasional alcohol use to chronic abuse. Most scientific research has examined the effects of chronic alcohol consumption on the hippocampus, the control center of the human brain. Thus, little was known about the acute neurocognitive interactions of important risk factors, such as first-time alcohol intoxication at an early age, Explained to Heinrich Scholz.

In Germany they found that alcohol administration alone also permanently alters the morphology of neurons (Getty)
In Germany they found that alcohol administration alone also permanently alters the morphology of neurons (Getty)

He discovered ethanol-dependent molecular changes. They wanted to know whether those changes, in turn, lay the foundation for permanent cellular changes following an acute ethanol intoxication. “The effects of a single administration of alcohol were examined at the molecular, cellular and behavioral levels,” Scientist Scholz said. The working hypothesis was that, similar to memory formation after a lesson, a single administration of ethanol would create a positive association with alcohol.

The team tested their hypothesis through investigations in fruit flies and mouse models, finding ethanol-induced changes in two areas: mitochondrial dynamics and the balance between neuron synapses., Mitochondria supply cells, especially nerve cells, with energy. To better supply energy to cells, mitochondria move.

Mitochondria movement was altered in ethanol-treated cells. The chemical equilibrium between some synapses was also altered. These changes were permanent and were confirmed by changes in behavior in the animals: rats and fruit flies showed increased alcohol consumption and a subsequent relapse to alcohol.

In experiments, scientists found that animals had higher alcohol consumption and later became addicted to alcohol over time.
In experiments, scientists found that animals had higher alcohol consumption and later became addicted to alcohol over time.

Morphological remodeling of neurons is a well-known basis of learning and memory. These cellular plasticity mechanisms, which are thought to be important for learning and memory He is also at the center of collaborative memory formation for drug-related rewards. Therefore, some of the observed morphological changes may affect ethanol-related memory formation.

Along with the migration of mitochondria into neurons, which are also important for synaptic transmission and plasticity, the researchers speculate that these ethanol-dependent cellular changes are central to the development of addictive behaviors. “It is remarkable that the cellular processes contributing to such complex reward behavior are conserved across species, suggesting a similar role in humans.”Scholz said. “This may be a potentially common cellular process required for learning and memory,” he said.

Both observed mechanisms may explain observations in rats that a single intoxication experience can lead to increased alcohol consumption and relapse later in life. “These mechanisms may also be relevant to the observation in humans that first-time alcohol intoxication at a young age is an important risk factor. for the subsequent development of alcohol intoxication and alcohol addiction ”explained to Professor Scholz. “This means that identifying long-lasting ethanol-dependent changes is an important first step in understanding how acute alcohol use may translate into chronic alcohol abuse,” he said.

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