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Could a Drug Prevent the Damage of Binge Drinking?!

Nov 28, 2014 05:31 PM EST
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It's no secret that excessive alcohol drinking, or binge drinking, can have some lasting effects on the human body, even going as far as to inflict notable brain damage. Now a new study has revealed that a compound called thane-beta-sultam can reduce expected damage to the brain.

It should be noted that according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), binge drinking means four or more drinks on a single occasion for women, and five or more drinks for men. Under these terms, it was recently revealed that one in three American adults partake in excessive drinking. Ninety percent of them do not have a dependency problem.

But when it comes to brain damage, the CDC and neurologists alike are more worried about teens. That's because excessive drinking can cause brain cell loss and inflammation, which can especially lead to damage in brains that are still maturing. In fact, it has be revealed in past research that teens who frequently binge drink are more likely to experience lasting adverse changes to their brain structure.

Even more worrying, 90 percent of alcohol consumed by underage youth is in the form of binge drinking, according to the CDC.

That's why this latest "breakthrough" compound, as described in the Journal of Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, is so encouraging.

Of course, having a drug that can help mitigate the adverse effect of binge drinking may make it seem like it's even more ok to go crazy with the booze, but researchers are convinced that the benefits of being able to protect people from their bad decisions outweigh the risks.

"If you accept that alcohol abuse is going to continue, then it might be sensible for society to try and treat it in some way," study author Mike Page said in a statement.

According to Page, the brain often tries to protect itself in the wake of binge drinking using 'glial cells,' which increase when exposed to too much alcohol. However, this is a mistaken response, and causes potentially damaging inflammation.

"But a combination of our ethane-beta-sultam given at the same time as the alcohol decreased these levels of glial cells." ‌Professor Page said, offering a way to avoid the damage.

For more great nature science stories and general news, please visit our sister site, Headlines and Global News (HNGN).

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