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Researchers identify gene to treat alcoholism

IANS  |  New York 

Researchers have identified a gene that could provide a new target for developing medication to prevent and treat alcoholism, according to a new study on mice.

Researchers at (ONPRC) in the US discovered a gene that had lower expression in the brains of non-human primates which voluntarily consumed heavy amounts of alcohol compared to those that drank less.

Furthermore, the team unraveled a link between alcohol and how it modulates the levels of activity of this particular gene.

Researchers discovered that when they increased the levels of the gene encoded protein in mice, they reduced alcohol consumption by almost 50 per cent without affecting the total amount of fluid consumed or their overall well-being.

The study modified the levels of the protein encoded by a single gene known as GPR39.

The prevalence rates of co-occurring mood and alcohol use are high, with individuals with being 3.7 times more likely to have major than those who do not abuse alcohol.

Using a commercially available substance that mimics the activity of the GPR39 protein, the researchers found that targeting this gene dramatically reduced alcohol consumption in mice, showed the findings of the study published in the journal,

"The study highlights the importance of using cross-species approaches to identify and test relevant drugs for the treatment of alcohol use disorder," noted Rita Cervera-Juanes, at ONPRC.--IANS

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(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, February 09 2019. 15:50 IST
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