Causes And Effect Of Binge Drinking Essay

1303 Words Mar 17th, 2016 6 Pages
Abstract: Binge drinking is a major health problem in the United States resulting in approximately 88,000 deaths per year. One important receptor tyrosine kinase that plays a role in addiction and alcohol dependence is Anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK). Specifically, this enzyme is involved in a signaling cascade that relays signals to specific neurons in the nervous system. Experiments analyzing several inhibitors of ALK have found that addiction behaviors, such as cocaine sensitization and binge drinking were reduced after treatment with the inhibitors. Two inhibitors that showed a significant decrease in binge drinking were TAE684 and Alectinib. After treatment with the inhibitors, it was discovered that ethanol consumption decreased in mice. Using the drinking in the dark (DID) method and conditioned place preference (CPP) testing, it was discovered that ALK is a major contributor to the behaviors associated with alcohol addiction and the rewarding properties of alcohol. Mice treated with Alectinib showed more of a decrease in alcohol consumption compared to mice treated with TAE684. This suggests that Alectinib may have more of a specificity for ALK than TAE684. It was also found that the ventral tegmental area in the brain, associated with ALK and the rewarding properties of ethanol, is regulated by a shAlk (a short ribonucleic acid targeting the Alk gene). In mice expressing the shAlk, the gene for ALK was silenced, resulting in repression of ALK and a decrease in the…

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