Using PET scan technology to study alcohol's effects on the brain

  • Alcohol has both sedative-like and stimulant-like effects on the brain.
  • Benzodiazepines, which have a sedative effect, are used as sleeping pills.
  • Alcohol and benzodiazepines both facilitate brain GABA activity, which is the main inhibitory neurotransmitter system in the brain, yet they have different behavioral effects.
  • This study compares the effects of alcohol with those of benzodiazepines.

Researchers know that alcohol, in addition to facilitating gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) activity, also affects other neurotransmitter systems in the brain. It is likewise clear that alcohol, which has both sedative-like and stimulant-like effects, has addictive qualities. Benzodiazepines (used as sleeping pills) -- which primarily facilitate GABAergic activity in the brain -- have mainly sedative effects, but are also addictive. In order to differentiate amongst the brain circuits involved in the sedative versus the stimulant properties of alcohol, a study published in the June issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research compares alcohol's effects on the brain with those of a benzodiazepine drug called lorazepam (commercially known as Ativan).

"We wanted to investigate which areas of the brain were responsible for the stimulant -- versus the sedative -- effects of alcohol because these two effects appear to contribute to the abuse of alcohol in different subject populations," said Nora D. Volkow, associate laboratory director of Life Sciences, Brookhaven National Laboratory at the U.S. Department of Energy and senior author of the study. "In general, alcohol's stimulant effects are associated with its reinforcing effects, whereas its sedative effects interfere with its abuse; yet the sedative effects of alcohol are desirable in anxious individuals."

"People often think of alcohol as having a depressant effect," explained Gene-Jack Wang, chairman of the Medical Department, Brookhaven National Laboratory

Contact: Nora D. Volkow, M.D.
Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research

Page: 1 2 3 4

Related medicine news :

1. Using the internets power and anonymity to reduce problem drinking
2. Using celebrities to market drugs and diseases: whats the problem?
3. Using over-the-counter drugs to treat upper respiratory infections may save $4.75 billion annually
4. Using smart fluids to retrain muscles
5. Using smaller hearts could increase donor pool
6. CNS cancers and other diseases: Using proteomics to identify unique protein fingerprints
7. Using vitamin E and C supplements together may reduce risk of Alzheimer disease
8. Using fMRI technology to understand hyperlexia
9. Using their heads
10. Using naltrexone to treat alcoholics with a Mediterranean drinking pattern
11. Using cocaine during pregnancy may damage developing fetuses, causing lifelong learning disabilities

Post Your Comments:

(Date:3/20/2020)... ... March 21, 2020 , ... ... legal communities together for a day of live discussion and learning online. Experts ... and ethics, telemedicine, whistleblower laws, the role of boards, fraud, waste and abuse, ...
(Date:3/19/2020)... ... March 19, 2020 , ... For weeks, SignatureCare Emergency Center has been ... this week, it announced that while we are still short of some critical safety ... wait for our preparedness measures to be complete. , The Houston, TX based company ...
(Date:3/19/2020)... ... ... As confirmed cases of COVID-19 rapidly increase in the United States, Project ... organization, Project HOPE’s mandate is always to respond where the need is greatest, and ... CEO of Project HOPE. “We will be supporting America’s health workers as they work ...
(Date:3/19/2020)... YORK (PRWEB) , ... March 19, 2020 , ... “We ... and efficient manner,” said Dr. Viral Patel, Founder of Radish Health. “A reliable at ... the care and peace of mind they need in the comfort of their own ...
(Date:3/16/2020)... ... March 16, 2020 , ... The National ... for Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19 disease) to NKR’s vast network ... and serves approximately 100 transplant programs throughout the United States. NKR has relied ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:3/20/2020)... ... March 20, 2020 , ... The economic fallout from ... Many of the most vulnerable community members are those that struggle to pay ... (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed). Today, these ALICE households face an even more ...
(Date:3/19/2020)... ... March 19, 2020 , ... The Pulmonary ... Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland; University of Nebraska Medical Center in ... as PHA Centers of Comprehensive Care (CCC) as part of its Pulmonary Hypertension ...
(Date:3/16/2020)... Fla. (PRWEB) , ... March ... ... a unique, state-of-the-art, integrated, healthcare communication and patient education platform, with content ... and track patient communication, dramatically improving how they support patients before, after, ...
Breaking Medicine Technology:
Cached News: