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Alcohol abuse damage in neurones at a molecular scale identified for first time
Date:6/12/2014

This news release is available in Spanish.

Joint research between the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU) and the University of Nottingham has identified, for the first time, the structural damage caused at a molecular level to the brain by the chronic excessive abuse of alcohol. In concrete, the research team has determined the alterations produced in the neurones of the prefrontal zone of the brain (the most advanced zone in terms of evolution and that which controls executive functions such as planning, designing strategies, working memory, selective attention or control of behaviour. This research opens up pathways for generating new pharmaceutical drugs and therapies that enhance the life of alcoholic persons and reduce the morbimortality due to alcoholism. The research was published in the digital journal specialised in biomedical sciences, PLOS One with an impact factor of 3.730.

In the research, doctors Luis F. Callado, Benito Morentin and Amaia Erdozain, from the UPV/EHU, together with doctor Wayne G. Carter's team from the University of Nottingham, analysed the postmorten brains of 20 persons diagnosed with alcohol abuse/dependence, alongside another 20 non-alcoholic brains. Studying the prefrontal cortex, researchers detected alterations in the neuronal cytoskeleton in the brains of alcoholic patients; in concrete, in the α- and β-tubulin and the β II spectrin proteins. These changes in the neuronal structure, induced by ethanol ingestion, can affect the organisation, the capacity for making connections and the functioning of the neuronal network, and could largely explain alterations in cognitive behavior and in learning, attributed to persons suffering from alcoholism.'/>"/>

Contact: Matxalen Sotillo
komunikazioa@ehu.es
34-688-673-770
University of the Basque Country
Source:Eurekalert  

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