Saturday, June 16, 2018

New Study Shows Relationship Between Ghrelin and Alcohol

Article Written By: Bright Li


 Image credit: Michal Jarmoluk

According to a recent study, Ghrelin (a hormone synthesized by endocrine cells of the stomach) may be a new promising target in developing novel medications for alcohol use disorder.

Ghrelin plays a role in the brain’s reward and stress pathways from preclinical studies, however it was never observed on alcohol.

Dr. Lorenzo Leggio, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and National Institute on Drug Abuse, and colleagues conducted a proof-of-concept human laboratory study consisting of two experiments: alcohol self-administration and brain functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).

Participants were alcohol-dependent heavy-drinking (>15 and >20 standard drinks/week for women and men, respectively) individuals. They received either ghrelin or placebo. The results turned out that ghrelin increased the urge for alcohol infusions compared to the placebo.

Quote from Dr. Lorenzo, “These data indicate that ghrelin signaling affects alcohol seeking in humans.”

Read more about this fascinating story at:

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