A single dose of alcohol is enough to permanently change the brain, causing addiction: Study | health

Even a one-time exposure to alcohol It may permanently change its shape nervous cells And leads to addiction according to a study conducted on animals.

Neurons or neurons are the basic units of the brain and nervous system responsible for receiving sensory inputs from the outside world.

The researchers found, in particular, that alcohol affects the structure of the synapses as well as the dynamics of mitochondria, the centers of force in the cell.

Synapses are the points of contact between neurons where information is passed from one neuron to another.

The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, used the Drosophila genetic model system.

It shows that changes in mitochondrial migration at synapses reduce the rewarding effect of alcohol, the researchers said.

These findings, they said, suggest that even a single drinking incident may lay the groundwork for alcohol dependence.

The majority of studies have focused on the consequences of chronic alcohol drinking on the hippocampus, the control center of our brain.

“We set out to discover ethanol-dependent molecular changes. These in turn provide the basis for permanent cellular changes after a single acute ethanol poisoning,” said Henrike Scholz of the University of Cologne in Germany.

“The effects of a single alcohol intake on the molecular, cellular, and behavioral levels were examined,” Schulz said.

The researchers used fruit flies and mouse models to find ethanol-induced changes in two areas: mitochondrial dynamics and the balance between synapses in neurons. Mitochondria provide energy for cells, especially neurons.

Mitochondria move in order to optimally supply energy to cells. In cells treated with ethanol, mitochondrial movement was impaired. The chemical balance of some synapses is also disturbed.

These changes were permanent and were confirmed by behavioral changes in the animals: mice and fruit flies consumed more alcohol and relapsed later in life.

The morphological remodeling of neurons is a well-known basis for learning and memory.

These mechanisms, which are central to learning and memory, are also thought to be at the heart of forming associative memories of drug-related rewards, the researchers said.

Therefore, some of the observed changes may affect ethanol-related memory formation, they said.

Researchers speculate that these ethanol-dependent cellular changes are necessary for the development of addictive behaviors.

“Remarkably, the cellular processes that contribute to such a complex equivalent behavior are conserved across species, suggesting a similar role in humans,” Schulz said.

“It could be a potentially general cellular process that is essential for learning and memory,” Schultz added. PTI SAR

This story was published from the news agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the title has changed.