Gene linked to binge drinking might help treat alcoholism

| | November 30, 2016

The ability to stop drinking when you're feeling tipsy or drunk comes easier to some than others. An international research team from Europe and University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center has identified a gene variant that can stop people from craving a drink; the discovery could potentially treat addiction in binge drinkers.

"The study identified a variation in the β-Klotho gene linked to the regulation of social alcohol consumption," said Dr. David Mangelsdorf, Chair of Pharmacology at UT Southwestern....

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The gene works via a feedback circuit that goes from the liver, which processes alcohol, to the brain, where the receptors are able to form a receptor complex, binding the liver hormone FGF21 to signal the response to alcohol, according to Mangelsdorf.

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To observe how this gene works, UT Southwestern researchers offered mice genetically unable to produce β-Klotho a choice between water and alcohol. The genetically altered mice chose alcohol even when they were given the hormone FGF21, indicating that FGF21's ability to suppress the desire for alcohol depends on the presence of β-Klotho...Lacking the gene altogether led the mice to be significantly more attracted to alcohol.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original postAlcohol Addiction Treatment? Scientists Identify Gene Variant That May Curb Binge Drinking In Social Drinkers

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