Monday, October 3, 2011

Drug will help you to prevent getting drunk

By shutting off a certain type of brain cell, scientists have shown that mice that were fed copious amounts of alcohol were not getting drunk at all. Glial cells, which have nothing to do with the neurons that wire your brain, play a role in the immune system, but are also affected by alcohol. By inhibiting the function of glial cells, the mice were apparently unable to get drunk. The rodents were shown to have much more control over their motoric functions and had better reflexes: two elements that also play a role in drunk humans. According to the researchers, they want to focus on developing a drug that prevents you from embarrassing yourself on a night out. An alternative would be, of course, to control yourself while drinking, something which does not require the intake of possibly hazardous drugs.

It remains unclear what the exact relationship is between these immune cells of the brain and drunkenness. It is however possible to shut off the immune response in the brain, that is supposed to protect us from infectious diseases such as meningitis. It is peculiar that shutting this protection mechanism off has a profound effect on the ability to get drunk from alcoholic consumptions.

The researchers hallow their new drug as a possible way to prevent harm you may cause yourself while being drunk, but it is unknown whether the drunkenness inhibitor has any side effects. It seems dangerous to shut off a protection mechanism in the brain, especially considering the fact that glial cells make up 90 percent of your brain cell content. The brain has extra protection mechanisms set in place to prevent microbes from entering: the most well-known is the blood brain barrier, which is a strict control mechanism that only allows certain molecules to enter the brain from the blood.

Also, the feeling that alcohol produce makes you aware when you have had enough, or pass out before you cause yourself serious harm due to alcohol. When people do not feel the effects of alcohol, it may very well be that you continue drinking way beyond hazardous quantities. Even though the body's physical response to alcohol is shut off, you still have the toxic compound in your blood, which still has its effect on your organs. 

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