According to the results of a recent NIAAA-funded animal study, carrying a gene variant that affects the release of a specific brain protein may increase the risk of developing an alcohol use disorder. The protein, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), affects the survival of existing neurons and the growth of new neurons and synapses, the junctures through which cell-to-cell communication occurs. more
Carrying a gene variant that affects the release of a specific brain protein may put one at greater risk of developing an alcohol use disorder, according to the results of a recent animal study. The study was led by Professor Dorit Ron, PhD, Endowed Chair of Cell Biology of Addiction, Department of Neurology, University of California, San Francisco, and was funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, part of the National Institutes of Health. <more>
Neuroscientist Woody Hopf opens a cabinet in his alcohol research laboratory at the University of California, San Francisco. Inside is a cage containing a rat that is being taught addictive behaviours. The rat has been conditioned to press a lever to release a squirt of alcohol when it hears a beep. Hopf closes the cabinet so that the rat will not be distracted by the sights and sounds of human visitors.
Understanding the daily actions of preteens is a daunting task in general, but researchers from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) have had early success in using functional MRI (fMRI) to investigate why some might explore more than others.