Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

UCLA Brain Scientists Crack Mystery Of How Alcohol Causes Intoxication

Date:
February 20, 2005
Source:
University Of California - Los Angeles
Summary:
Scientists at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA have deciphered how a naturally occurring gene mutation in rats' brains lowers the animals' tolerance to alcohol, leading to rapid and acute intoxication after the equivalent of one drink.

Alcohol interferes with how brain cells communicate with one another, coordination, grogginess, impaired memory and loss of inhibitions associated with drunkenness. Yet researchers have been unable to pinpoint how alcohol causes this disruption in the brain.

Related Articles


Now scientists at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA have deciphered how a naturally occurring gene mutation in rats' brains lowers the animals' tolerance to alcohol, leading to rapid and acute intoxication after the equivalent of one drink. The UCLA study is the first to identify how the gene variation alters GABA receptors -- specific sites targeted by chemicals from the brain cells -- making them more responsive to very low levels of alcohol. Alcohol enhances the GABA receptors' influence on brain cells, slowing the cells' activity and ability to communicate.

The fact that the gene mutation arises naturally suggests that tolerance levels to alcohol may be genetically wired in people, too. If so, the findings could eventually help identify children and adults at higher risk of developing alcohol dependency, so these individuals can make an informed decision about whether to drink. The study results may also speed the development of new drugs that target alcohol-sensitive GABA receptors, leading to better treatments for alcohol poisoning and addiction.

Authors of the study include UCLA Brain Research Institute members Richard Olsen, Ph.D., professor of molecular and medical pharmacology; Thomas Otis, Ph.D., associate professor of neurobiology; and Martin Wallner, Ph.D., pharmacology researcher.

The Feb. 6 online edition of Nature Neuroscience reports the findings.

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke and the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Addiction supported the research.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of California - Los Angeles. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of California - Los Angeles. "UCLA Brain Scientists Crack Mystery Of How Alcohol Causes Intoxication." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 February 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/02/050211084456.htm>.
University Of California - Los Angeles. (2005, February 20). UCLA Brain Scientists Crack Mystery Of How Alcohol Causes Intoxication. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 27, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/02/050211084456.htm
University Of California - Los Angeles. "UCLA Brain Scientists Crack Mystery Of How Alcohol Causes Intoxication." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/02/050211084456.htm (accessed January 27, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

City Divided: A Look at Model Schools in the TDSB

City Divided: A Look at Model Schools in the TDSB

The Toronto Star (Jan. 27, 2015) Model schools are rethinking how they engage with the community to help enhance the lives of the students and their parents. Video provided by The Toronto Star
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Saves Pennies For 65 Years

Man Saves Pennies For 65 Years

Rooftop Comedy (Jan. 26, 2015) A man in Texas saved every penny he found for 65 years, and this week he finally cashed them in. Bank tellers at Prosperity Bank in Slaton, Texas were shocked when Ira Keys arrived at their bank with over 500 pounds of loose pennies stored in coffee cans. After more than an hour of sorting and counting, it turned out the 81 year-old was in possession of 81,600 pennies, or $816. And he&apos;s got more at home! Video provided by Rooftop Comedy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Technology Is Ruining Snow Days For Students

How Technology Is Ruining Snow Days For Students

Newsy (Jan. 25, 2015) More schools are using online classes to keep from losing time to snow days, but it only works if students have Internet access at home. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Weird Things Couples Do When They Lose Their Phone

Weird Things Couples Do When They Lose Their Phone

BuzzFeed (Jan. 24, 2015) Did you back it up? Do you even know how to do that? Video provided by BuzzFeed
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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