Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

OHSU Researchers Discover New Brain Region Involved In Alcoholism

Date:
March 26, 2003
Source:
Oregon Health & Science University
Summary:
Researchers at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) have discovered a new region of the brain involved in chronic alcohol consumption. This research may be used to develop new or improved drugs and therapies aimed at combating alcoholism.

PORTLAND, Ore. – Researchers at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) have discovered a new region of the brain involved in chronic alcohol consumption. This research may be used to develop new or improved drugs and therapies aimed at combating alcoholism. The finding also presents a more complete picture of the brain's important role in alcohol abuse.

The research, which is printed in the March 25 edition of the Journal of Neuroscience, centers on a peptide called urocortin. The peptide is connected to alcohol craving. Scientists at OHSU and collaborators at Indiana University tracked urocortin to a group of brain cells located in the midbrain. The group of cells is called the Edinger-Westphal (EW) nucleus.

"This research is the first to tie this region of the brain to alcohol abuse," said Andrey Ryabinin, Ph.D., an assistant professor of behavioral neuroscience in the OHSU School of Medicine and senior author of the paper. "It is also the first time urocortin levels have been tied to alcohol consumption."

To conduct this research, Ryabinin and his colleagues studied mice bred to crave alcohol compared with normal mice that will drink alcohol served with a sugar solution. Researchers found that levels of urocortin in the brain corresponded with each animal's desire to drink alcohol. Animals with high urocortin levels consumed large quantities of alcohol. Conversely, animals with low urocortin levels craved less alcohol. The scientists also tracked communications between cells containing urocortin and a region of the forebrain involved in regulating alcohol consumption and brain reward mechanisms.

"While there is much more research to be done, we think that either this small group of neurons or the peptide urocortin may be good targets for drugs or therapies for treating those with alcohol addiction in the future," explained Ryabinin. "For instance, it is worth testing whether reducing urocortin levels may reduce alcohol craving."

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, a component of the National Institutes of Health, funded this research.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Oregon Health & Science University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Oregon Health & Science University. "OHSU Researchers Discover New Brain Region Involved In Alcoholism." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 March 2003. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/03/030326073831.htm>.
Oregon Health & Science University. (2003, March 26). OHSU Researchers Discover New Brain Region Involved In Alcoholism. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/03/030326073831.htm
Oregon Health & Science University. "OHSU Researchers Discover New Brain Region Involved In Alcoholism." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/03/030326073831.htm (accessed July 23, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The new sci-fi thriller "Lucy" is making people question whether we really use all our brainpower. But, as scientists have insisted for years, we do. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Do Obese Women Have 'Food Learning Impairment'?

Do Obese Women Have 'Food Learning Impairment'?

Newsy (July 18, 2014) Yale researchers tested 135 men and women, and it was only obese women who were deemed to have "impaired associative learning." Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Does Mixing Alcohol and Energy Drinks Boost Urge To Drink?

Does Mixing Alcohol and Energy Drinks Boost Urge To Drink?

Newsy (July 18, 2014) A new study suggests that mixing alcohol with energy drinks makes you want to keep the party going. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pot Cooking Class Teaches Responsible Eating

Pot Cooking Class Teaches Responsible Eating

AP (July 18, 2014) Following the nationwide trend of eased restrictions on marijuana use, pot edibles are growing in popularity. One Boston-area cooking class is teaching people how to eat pot responsibly. (July 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins