"Reset to factory settings": a new way to combat alcoholism has been found

"Reset to factory settings": a new way to combat alcoholism has been found

Categories: Health and Medicine

It is known that alcoholism is a scourge of modern humanity. The greatest danger is addiction to alcohol at an early age. According to statistics, those who consumed alcohol in adolescence retain a predisposition to drunkenness for life. Fortunately, a way has recently been found to break the system and return the brain of a drinker to "factory settings".

"Reset to factory settings": a new way to combat alcoholism has been found

Scientists at the University of Illinois at Chicago conducted a serious study examining the effect of drunkenness at an early age on cravings for alcohol in adulthood. They discovered that drinking during adolescence changes the chemical composition of the brain in the enhancer region of the Arc gene. This is a real involuntary reprogramming of the emotion and memory center of the brain. It almost always causes a predisposition to anxiety and alcoholism in adults.

"Reset to factory settings": a new way to combat alcoholism has been found

If there is a problem, there must be a solution. Therefore, the same team conducted a new work in which they found a way to break the system. Epigenetic reprogramming, the results of which persist throughout life, can be reversed by editing genes.

The head of the research team, Subhash Pandey, professor of psychiatry and part-time director of the UIC Center for Alcohol Research in the Field of Epigenetics, told the press that:

Pandey and his colleagues used the CRISPR-dCas9 tool to edit genes. The experiment was conducted not on humans, but on laboratory rats. But this fact does not really matter, the professor believes. Science has proven the similarity of processes of this type in humans and these rodents.

"Reset to factory settings": a new way to combat alcoholism has been found

After editing, the craving for alcohol disappeared, and in addition, the experimental animals got rid of anxiety. To measure the level of anxiety in dumb animals, scientists used behavioral tests in a special maze. Cravings for alcohol were tested by offering rats two bottles with different contents. One contained water or sweetened water, and the other contained alcohol of different concentrations.

Subhash Pandey considers this small discovery very important. In his opinion, it can solve the problem of alcoholism, which they become hostage to in childhood.

"Reset to factory settings": a new way to combat alcoholism has been found

It will take years before the genome editing technology can be applied to a person. But the good news is that nature is gradually discovering its secrets and medicine is learning to correct its mistakes.

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