Brain chemistry may explain why men are more likely to become alcoholics

Illustration for article titled Brain chemistry may explain why men are more likely to become alcoholics

Men are up to twice as likely to become alcoholics than women, and a new study indicates that this propensity may be tied to dopamine production. Researchers found that men's brains are hardwired to release more dopamine when consuming booze.

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that's released when the human body partakes in activities like sex and drugs; it's affiliated with conditioning the brain to continually seek pleasurable activities. In the study (which will be published in the journal Biological Psychiatry), subjects consumed alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, and their dopamine output was measured using positron emission tomography imaging after the consumption of each drink.

Says study co-author Dr. Nina Urban, "In men, increased dopamine release also had a stronger association with subjective positive effects of alcohol intoxication [...] This may contribute to the initial reinforcing properties of alcohol and the risk for habit formation."

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[NCBI via Elsevier]

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DISCUSSION

diox-hol-ster-old
DIOX-HOL-STER

hope they ban this stuff one day. so wrong