Brain’s Immune System Linked to Alcohol Drinking Behavior

A research team from the University of Adelaide found the link between brain’s immune system and the urge to drink alcohol and is one of the first of its kind. The study was done on the mice by administering a specific drug which blocks specific response from the brain’s immune system and able to switch off the desire to drink alcohol. The results of this study are published in the journal Brain, Behavior and Immunity.

The mice were administered with the drug + Naltrexone which is known to block the immune receptor, Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR 4). Researchers observed a significant reduction in the alcohol drinking behavior by the mice particularly at the night time as the reward, for the drug-related behavior, is usually highest at nights. As drinking culture exists in all parts of the world, linked with alcohol addiction and related to health and societal issues, these findings help to go further in this area of research.

Lead author Jon Jacobsen says “Alcohol is the world’s most commonly consumed drug, and there is a greater need than ever to understand the biological mechanisms that drive our need to drink alcohol”.

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