Study reveals alarming link between binge-drinking and anxiety

New research conducted on mice suggests repeated heavy drinking causes synaptic dysfunctions that lead to anxiety.

Credit: Pixabay
  • The study was conducted on mice, who were given the equivalent of five drinks daily for 10 days.
  • Images of the alcoholic mice brains showed synaptic dysfunctions related to microglia (immune cells in the brain).
  • The results suggest that regulating TNF, a signaling protein related to systemic inflammation, may someday play a part in treating alcohol addiction.
Keep reading Show less

Study links 'sun-seeking behavior' to genes involved in addiction

A large-scale study from King's College London explores the link between genetics and sun-seeking behaviors.

Credit: Grisha Bruev on Shutterstock
  • There are a number of physical and mental health benefits to sun exposure, such as boosted vitamin D and serotonin levels and stronger bones.
  • Addictions are multi-step conditions that, by definition, require exposure to the addictive agent and have also been proven to have a genetic factor. Countless people are exposed to addictive things, but not all become addicted. This is because of the genetic component of addiction.
  • This large-scale study explores the link between sun-seeking behaviors and the genetic markers for addiction.
Keep reading Show less

Can your smartphone detect how drunk you are?

A small proof-of-concept study shows smartphones could help detect drunkenness based on the way you walk.

Photo by wavebreakmedia on Shutterstock
  • The legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit for driving in the U.S is 0.08 percent. You can measure your BAC 15 minutes after your first drink and your levels will remain safe if you consume no more than one standard drink per hour.
  • Portable breathalyzers can be used to measure BAC, but not many people own these devices.
  • A small proof-of-concept study suggests that your smartphone could detect your drunkenness based on the way you walk.
Keep reading Show less

Can you manipulate your brain to stop your food cravings?

New research conducted on the brains of mice suggest it may be possible to "switch off" particular food cravings.

Photo by AshTproductions on Shutterstock
  • A food craving can be described as an intense desire for a specific food. This desire can seem uncontrollable at times.
  • Emerging research suggests it may be possible to "switch off" the pleasure feelings we experience from eating certain foods, which could curb cravings.
  • This could be groundbreaking in terms of new eating disorder treatments.

Keep reading Show less

Drugs: What America gets wrong about addiction and policy

Addiction is not a moral failure. It is a learning disorder, and viewing it otherwise stops communities and policy makers from the ultimate goal: harm reduction.

  • "Why are some drugs legal and others illegal? ... if you ask how and why this distinction got made, what you realize when you look at the history is it has almost nothing to do with the relative risks of these drugs and almost everything to do with who used and who was perceived to use these drugs," says Ethan Nadelmann.
  • In this video, Maia Szalavitz, public policy and addiction journalist; Carl Hart, professor of neuroscience and psychology at Columbia University; Ethan Nadelmann, founder of the Drug Policy Alliance; and Harvard University economist Jeffrey Miron dissect why American society's perceptions of drug addiction and its drug policies are so illogical.
  • Drug addiction is not a moral failure and the stereotypes about who gets addicted are not true. Policy that is built to punish drug users for their immorality only increases harm and death rates.
Quantcast