Beta-endorphin is a kind of “morphine” released by the brain in response to several situations, such as pain. In this way, beta-endorphins can be considered “endogenous analgesics” to numb or dull pains.
Researchers have focused on the low beta-endorphin levels in chronic alcohol abusers. According to José Rico Irles, lecturer of Medicine of the UGR [http://www.ugr.es], and head of the research group, this low beta-endorphin level determines whether someone may become an alcoholic. When a subjects’ brain with low beta-endorphin levels gets used to the presence of an exogenous surplus, then, when its own production stops, a dependence starts on the external source: alcohol.
Who may become and alcohol abuser?
A total of 200 families of the Southern Spanish province of Granada participated in the research. There was at least one chronic alcoholic parent in each family. From birth, each subject presented predetermined beta-endorphin levels. However, children of this population group aged between 6 months and 10 years old, registered lower beta-endorphin levels than other children of the same age. ”These levels were even lower in children whose both parents were alcohol abusers”, the researcher states.
According to researcher, although alcohol consumption does not affect all people in the same way, differences in endorphin levels make some subjects more vulnerable to alcohol. Therefore, they are more likely to become alcohol dependent.
Beta-endorphins constitute a useful biological marker to identify specifically those subjects who have a higher risk of developing alcohol abuse, the research claims.
Regarding the results of this study, professor Rico states the following: “alcohol-abuse prevention must consist of locating and identifying genetically predisposed subjects.” More campaigns for children and teenagers should be launched before these young people make contact with alcohol. Alcohol awareness is fundamental to prevent addiction, the researcher affirms, because alcohol is a drug with reversible effects up to a point.
In relation to the “botellón culture” (gathering in the streets to drink with friends), José Rico states that some of these “social drinkers” could have low beta-endorphin levels and, therefore, a higher predisposition to become “solitary drinkers” and to develop alcohol abuse.Reference
Antonio Marín Ruiz | alfa
Novel mechanisms of action discovered for the skin cancer medication Imiquimod
21.10.2016 | Technische Universität München
Second research flight into zero gravity
21.10.2016 | Universität Zürich
Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...
In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...
By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.
"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...
COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.
In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...
'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.
Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...
14.10.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
12.10.2016 | Event News
21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine
21.10.2016 | Information Technology
21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences