Home » Your Health » Children's Health News » Scientists Link Gene With Teen Binge Drinking

Scientists Link Gene With Teen Binge Drinking

Children's Health News, Health Studies in the News, Trending Health News, Your Health

Scientists have discovered a link between a gene in the brain and a tendency to binge drink among teens.

The findings, published in the Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences Journal (or the PNAS), linked the RASGRF-2 gene to a process in which alcohol stimulates the brain to release dopamine, which in turn triggers a sense of pleasure and reward, as well as an inclination to drink more.

“[Those] with a genetic variation of the RASGRF-2 gene, get a stronger sense of reward from drinking alcohol, making them more likely to be heavy drinkers,” said Gunter Schumann, study lead at King’s College London’s Institute of Psychiatry.

The study focused on mice who had the RASGRF2 gene removed. When they reacted to alcohol, the mice lacking the RASGRF-2 sought out alcohol much less due to reduced dopamine production.

However, when the same scientists studied brain scans of 663 14-year old boys, those with genetic variations to the RASGRF2 gene had greater dopamine release and brain activity, deriving more pleasure from drinking alcohol. When the team followed up with the same group of boys at the age of 16, they found that those who drank frequently had the RASGRF-2 gene variation.

Schumann says that it just goes to show that “people seek out situations that fulfill their sense of reward and [pleasure]… if your brain is wired to find alcohol rewarding, you will seek it out.” He further noted the strong correlation between how our genes shape brain function, and in turn, our human behavior.”

Source: Reuters


More on ActiveBeat

  • 7 Fun and Healthy Ways to Really Bond with Your Child
    These days, the competition for quality time with your child—especially if they're an adolescent or teenager—seems to be growing.
    Children's Health News
  • 7 Important Stats About Teen Suicide
    Suicide affects us all. Chances are you know someone who has taken their life as a result of serious anxiety, depression, or some other kind of mental health issue.
    Children's Health News
  • Video: #HuddleUp Student Athlete Mental Health Initiative
    If you've looked at your social media in the last week, chances are you've spotted a video, Facebook update, profile picture change, or hashtag promoting the Bell Let's Talk...
    Children's Health News
  • Are Addictions Linked to Shame?
    When it comes to alcohol and drug addictions, one would believe that public shaming would be a good deterrent.
    Children's Health News
  • The Many Health Benefits of a Booze Break
    Did you know that taking even a short hiatus from drinking alcohol can boost your health significantly?
    Children's Health News
  • Alcohol and Diet Soda Putting Drivers Over the Edge
    Scientists at Northern Kentucky University have found that mixing alcohol with diet soda leads to faster and higher rates of intoxication.
    Children's Health News
  • Treating Alcoholics Can Save Their Families Money
    A recent study by German researchers that was published on Sept. 24 in the online edition of the journal “Addiction” found that treating alcoholics can significantly reduce the...
    Children's Health News
  • Does Drinking Increase The Risk Of Arrhythmia?
    A new study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal finds that seniors with heart disease or diabetes have a greater risk of developing arrhythmia if they are even...
    Children's Health News
  • Research Series: Raise Alcohol Prices To Curb Abuse In Canada
    A new research series from Canada is calling for minimum prices for alcoholic drinks in response of alcohol abuse in the country.
    Children's Health News
  • Moderate Drinking vs. Binge Drinking on Weekends
    We all know that alcohol can have detrimental affects on our health if it’s abused—not to mention our personal reputation (i.e., sloppy texts, poor decisions, and more).
    Children's Health News
  • Love and Alcohol Don't Always Mix
    The term “till death do us part” may mean everlasting love and commitment to most. However, it may not pertain to those who hit the bottle frequently.
    Children's Health News
  • 9 Anything But Dull Facts on Boredom
    Everyone at one time or another has found themselves in that unpleasant state of mind known as boredom. Young, old, male, female--boredom affects us all.
    Children's Health News
  • 8 Health Reasons For Taking a Drinking Hiatus
    In a society filled with happy hours, girls’ martini nights, and brews with your buddies, the amount you drink on a weekly, or even daily, basis can really add up and lead to all...
    Children's Health News
  • 10 Signs of Alcohol Abuse: When Drinking Becomes a Problem
    Alcohol abuse is a very serious disease that many people struggle to deal with every day. A good majority of people enjoy a glass of wine or a beer after a long day of work, but...
    Children's Health News
  • 10 Facts about Binge Drinking and Your Health
    Alcohol is a common recreational activity for many people. So much so that many of us forget that it’s still a drug that can pose serious mental and physical harm if not consumed...
    Children's Health News