Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Binge-drinking teens may be risking future depression

Date:
November 15, 2010
Source:
Loyola University Health System
Summary:
Binge-drinking teenagers may be putting themselves at higher risk in adulthood for mood disorders such as anxiety and depression, researchers report.

Binge-drinking teenagers may be putting themselves at higher risk in adulthood for mood disorders such as anxiety and depression, Loyola University Health System researchers report.

A new Loyola study has found that exposing adolescent rats to binge amounts of alcohol permanently altered the system that produces hormones in response to stress. This disruption in stress hormones "might lead to behavioral and/or mood disorders in adulthood," researchers reported.

Senior author Toni Pak, PhD, and colleagues reported their findings Nov. 15 at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience in San Diego.

While results from animal studies don't directly translate to people, the findings do suggest a mechanism by which teenage binge drinking could cause mental health problems in adulthood, Pak said.

"Exposing young people to alcohol could permanently disrupt normal connections in the brain that need to be made to ensure healthy adult brain function," Pak said.

Binge drinking is defined as a woman having at least four drinks or a man having at least five drinks on one occasion. Heavy binge drinkers can consume 10 to 15 drinks. Binge drinking typically begins around age 13 and peaks between 18 and 22, before gradually decreasing. Thirty-six percent of youths ages 18 to 20 reported at least one binge-drinking episode during the past 30 days, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

The Loyola study examined the long-term effects of alcohol on the production of the stress hormone corticosterone in rats. (The equivalent stress hormone in humans is cortisol).

Humans and rats produce stress hormones in response to physical or psychological stress. For example, in a "fight-or-flight" situation, a jolt of cortisol provides a burst of energy and a lower sensitivity to pain, while suppressing functions that aren't immediately needed, such as digestion. However, chronic exposure to cortisol and other stress hormones has been linked to depression, cardiovascular disease and other problems.

In the study, researchers exposed adolescent rats to an 8-day binge drinking pattern: three days of alcohol binging, two days off, then three more days of binging. On binge days, rats were injected with enough alcohol to raise their blood alcohol concentration to between 0.15 percent and 0.2 percent. (In humans such concentrations would be roughly 2 to 2.5 times higher than the 0.08 legal limit for driving.)A control group of rats received injections of saline.

One month later, when the rats were young adults, they were exposed to one of three regimens: saline injections, a one-time alcohol injection or a binge-pattern of alcohol exposure. Alcohol is a form of stress, so not surprisingly, the animals that had either a one-time or binge alcohol exposure produced more of the corticosterone stress hormone. A more significant finding is that among rats that had received alcohol during adolescence, there was a significantly larger spike in corticosterone when they received alcohol during adulthood. These rats also had a lower base level of corticosterone than rats that had remained sober during adolescence. These findings suggest that alcohol exposure during puberty permanently alters the system by which the brain triggers the body to produce stress hormones.

Pak is a molecular neurobiologist and an assistant professor in the Department of Cell and Molecular Physiology at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. Two members of her lab are co-authors of the study: first author Magdalena Przybycien-Szymanska, a PhD student and Roberta Gillespie, a research assistant.


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

Loyola University Health System. "Binge-drinking teens may be risking future depression." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 November 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101115131123.htm>.
Loyola University Health System. (2010, November 15). Binge-drinking teens may be risking future depression. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101115131123.htm
Loyola University Health System. "Binge-drinking teens may be risking future depression." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101115131123.htm (accessed April 20, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Study On Artists' Brain Shows They're 'Structurally Unique'

Study On Artists' Brain Shows They're 'Structurally Unique'

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The brains of artists aren't really left-brain or right-brain, but rather have extra neural matter in visual and motor control areas. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) A recent study links apathetic feelings to a smaller brain. Researchers say the results indicate a need for apathy screening for at-risk seniors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

AP (Apr. 16, 2014) Pushing the limits on style and self-expression is a rite of passage for teens and even younger kids. How far should schools go with their dress codes? The courts have sided with schools in an era when school safety is paramount. (April 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
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