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5.11.2010

In the News: The Hangover, The Molecule

5.11.2010
No, this is not the title of the sequel to The Hangover, but this news may give the Wolf Pack another reason to celebrate. A breaking discovery in the world of intoxication has emerged. Neuroscientists from the University of Southampton's School of Biological Sciences have discovered the molecule in the brain that leads to hangovers.

The study utilized C. elegans worms to test their brain response (similar to that of a human) to alcohol intoxication and dependence. Findings showed that when the worms experienced extended alcohol exposure, their brains grew accustomed to those levels. Once the alcohol consumption halted, the brain responded with hangover-like withdrawal symptoms. According to University of Southampton professor Lindy Holden-Dye, "This research showed the worms displaying effects of the withdrawal of alcohol and enables us to define how alcohol affects signaling in nerve circuits which leads to changes in behavior". While the 'hair of the dog' approach of providing small doses of alcohol to the worms did alleviate some symptoms, it also increased likelihood for alcohol dependency. While the exact name of this molecule has not yet been released, scientists hope to use these findings to research methods of treatment for alcoholism. Click here to learn more.

With the announcement of this discovery we have to ask: if the molecule has been identified, how long before a hangover cure is developed? Until that day, avoid the hangover and Stop@Buzzed!

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