A study coming out of the UI Carver College of Medicine has identified a protein that simultaneously controls alcohol-seeking behavior a well as alcohol-induced cell death within the liver, heart, and other vital organs. The protein, called RGS6, acts through two separate mechanisms to both affect cravings for alcohol and protect organs from damage. Professor of pharmacology Rory Fisher, Ph.D. explains that “inhibiting this RGS6 protein could represent a new approach to counteract alcohol dependence and at the same time protect against the cell-killing actions of alcohol in the heart and liver.” Conceptually, Dr. Fisher believes that suppression of the RGS6 gene could both protect an individual’s organs while also suppressing cravings for alcohol.

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