A new study conducted in Canada by McGill University’s Professor Marco Leyton from the Department of Psychiatry can help in diagnosing and treating patients undergoing treatment caused by alcoholism.
According to a study published in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research there is a relation between one’s brain hyperactivity to alcoholism.
It is mentioned that some alcoholics are prone to sustain more release of dopamine, a chemical which plays an important role in brains activity. Dopamine functions as a neurotransmitter i.e., it acts as a signal and gives response between the body activity and the brain. Hence an increase amount of dopamine will definitely lead to hyperactivity of some alcoholics.
It was mentioned that they studied 26 individuals 18 males and 8 females aged 18 to 30 from Montreal area. The subjects were asked to swallow three drinks within a span of 15 minutes. Alcohol tolerance test, personality traits and PET Scans of all the subjects were studied.
It was found that people who are at more risk of alcohol release large amount of dopamine which ultimately results in hyperactivity of the subjects.
Dr Leyton said, “There is accumulating evidence that there are multiple pathways to alcoholism, each associated with a distinct set of personality traits and neurobiological features. These individual differences likely influence a wide range of behaviours, both positive and problematic. Our study suggests that a tendency to experience a large dopamine response when drinking alcohol might contribute to one (or more) of these pathways.’’
Leyton also said, ‘’This effect likely contributes to why having one drink increases the probability of getting a second one – the alcohol-induced dopamine response makes the second drink look all the more desirable. If some people are experiencing unusually large dopamine responses to alcohol, this might put them at risk.’’
He concluded saying, ‘’ Although preliminary, the results are compelling. A much larger body of research has identified a role for dopamine in reward-seeking behaviours in general. For example, in both laboratory animals and people, increased dopamine transmission seems to enhance the attractiveness of reward-related stimuli.’’