Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Why binge drinkers are slower to heal from their wounds

Date:
April 8, 2014
Source:
Loyola University Health System
Summary:
Binge drinking has such a negative effect on wound healing, and a new study is designed to find out why. Binge alcohol exposure significantly reduced levels of key components of the immune system involved in healing, the study found. Alcohol increases the risk of infections in the hospital, including surgical site infections. Patients with surgical-site infections are hospitalized for twice as long, have a higher rate of re-admission and are twice as likely to die as patients who did not binge drink.

People who are injured while binge drinking are much slower to heal from wounds suffered in car accidents, shootings, fires, etc.

Now a new study is providing insights into why alcohol has such a negative effect on wound healing. Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine researchers report that binge alcohol exposure significantly reduced levels of key components of the immune system involved in healing.

The study by senior author Katherine A. Radek, PhD, and colleagues from Loyola's Alcohol Research Program and the Infectious Disease and Immunology Research Institute is published online ahead of print in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.

In the United States, alcohol dependence and/or abuse affects 20 percent to 40 percent of hospitalized patients. Alcohol increases the risk of infections in the hospital, including surgical site infections. Patients with surgical-site infections are hospitalized for twice as long, have a higher rate of re-admission and are twice as likely to die as patients who did not binge drink.

The study showed, for the first time, that binge alcohol exposure reduces the amount of white blood cells called macrophages that chew up bacteria and debris. This defect, in part, makes the wound more likely to be infected by bacteria, such as Staphylococcus aureus.

The study also found that binge alcohol exposure impaired the production of a protein that recruits macrophages to the wound site. (This protein is called macrophage inflammatory protein-1 alpha, or MIP-1α.) Binge alcohol also reduced levels of another key component of the immune system known as CRAMP (cathelicidin-related antimicrobial peptide). CRAMP is a type of small protein present in the outermost layer of the skin, the epidermis. These small proteins, called antimicrobial peptides, kill bacteria and recruit macrophages and other immune system cells to the wound site.

"Together these effects likely contribute to delayed wound closure and enhanced infection severity observed in intoxicated patients," researchers concluded.

The study involved an in vivo model and a typical pattern of binge drinking: three days of alcohol exposure, followed by four days without alcohol, followed by three more days of binge alcohol exposure. The binge alcohol exposures were equivalent to roughly twice the legal limit for driving.

The study was supported by grants from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and the Marian and Ralph C. Falk Medical Research Trust.

The work was conducted in the Burn and Shock Trauma Research Institute by Brenda J. Curtis (a post-doctoral fellow), Sara Hlavin (MS student) and Aleah L. Brubaker (MD/PhD student) along with Elizabeth J. Kovacs, PhD.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Brenda J. Curtis, Sara Hlavin, Aleah L. Brubaker, Elizabeth J. Kovacs, Katherine A. Radek. Episodic Binge Ethanol Exposure Impairs Murine Macrophage Infiltration and Delays Wound Closure by Promoting Defects in Early Innate Immune Responses. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 2014; DOI: 10.1111/acer.12369

Cite This Page:

Loyola University Health System. "Why binge drinkers are slower to heal from their wounds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 April 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140408154109.htm>.
Loyola University Health System. (2014, April 8). Why binge drinkers are slower to heal from their wounds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 3, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140408154109.htm
Loyola University Health System. "Why binge drinkers are slower to heal from their wounds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140408154109.htm (accessed September 3, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Newsy (Sep. 1, 2014) New research says if you condition yourself to eat healthy foods, eventually you'll crave them instead of junk food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Coffee Then Napping: The (New) Key To Alertness

Coffee Then Napping: The (New) Key To Alertness

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) Researchers say having a cup of coffee then taking a nap is more effective than a nap or coffee alone. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Young Entrepreneurs Get $100,000, If They Quit School

Young Entrepreneurs Get $100,000, If They Quit School

AFP (Aug. 29, 2014) Twenty college-age students are getting 100,000 dollars from a Silicon Valley leader and a chance to live in San Francisco in order to work on the start-up project of their dreams, but they have to quit school first. Duration: 02:20 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Baby Babbling Might Lead To Faster Language Development

Baby Babbling Might Lead To Faster Language Development

Newsy (Aug. 29, 2014) A new study suggests babies develop language skills more quickly if their parents imitate the babies' sounds and expressions and talk to them often. 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