How binge drinking affects human brain
While binge drinking affects health of both males and females, the effect of gene expression in an area of the brain linked to addiction was found to be different, finds a new study.
Repeated binge drinking was found to significantly alter molecular pathways in the nucleus accumbens – a region of the brain linked to addiction. But, in females the genes linked to hormone signalling and immune function are altered, whereas in males genes related to nerve signalling are affected.
The study has significant implications for the treatment of alcohol use disorder as they emphasise the importance of tailoring effective therapies towards male and female patients, said researchers led by Deborah Finn, Professor at Oregon Health and Science University.
Repeated binge drinking can be a risk factor for the development of alcohol dependence. For the study, published in the journal Frontiers in Genetics, the team analysed gene expression in nucleus accumbens.
Experts noted that a consideration of sex is critical in the development of potential pharmacological therapies for the treatment of alcohol use disorder.