A team from the University of North Carolina identified a protein in the brain known as neuropeptide Y (or NPY) that has been linked to suppression of binge drinking behavior in mice. Researchers hope that these new findings can help provide the basis for groundbreaking treatments for alcohol abuse. Thomas L. Kash, PhD, describes more about the study:
“Specifically, we found that NPY acted in a part of the brain known as the extended amygdala (or bed nucleus of the stria terminalis) that we know is linked to both stress and reward. This antidrinking effect was due to increasing inhibition (the brakes) on a specific population of cells that produce a ‘pro-drinking’ molecule called corticotropin releasing factor (CRF).”
There is hope that NPY can be utilized as either a treatment or a marker for alcohol abuse, perhaps even as a preventative method to avoid alcohol dependency altogether.
Click here to read the full study on Medical News Today.