publicado em 02/10/2011 às 13h30:00
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Immune cells of the brain influence the effects of alcohol on the body

Immune response is found behind effects such as behavioral changes and difficulty controlling the muscles

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Foto: University of Adelaide
Mark Hutchinson, who led the study
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Mark Hutchinson, who led the study

Researchers at the University of Adelaide in Australia found that immune cells of the brain may contribute to the way the body reacts to alcohol.

The researcher, Mark Hutchinson, said his team's research has provided new evidence that an immune response in the brain is involved in behavioral responses to alcohol.

This immune response is behind some well-known effects of alcohol-related behavioral changes and difficulty controlling the muscles.

"It's amazing to think that, despite 10,000 years of alcohol and several decades of research on the way alcohol affects nerve cells in our brain, we are still trying to figure out exactly how it works," says researcher Dr. Mark Hutchinson School of Medical Sciences University.

"Alcohol is consumed annually by two billion people around the world and its abuse has social and health problems," said Hutchinson. "More than 76 million people are diagnosed with alcoholism for years.

"This work has significant implications for our understanding of how alcohol affects us, both in relation to an immune response and neuronal. This shift in thinking has significant implications for identifying individuals who may have harmful results after consumption of alcohol and could provide a way to detect people who are at increased risk of brain damage after a long time consuming this substance. "

The research was published in the latest edition of the British Journal of Pharmacology PhD Yue Wu, Dr. Hutchinson by the supervisor, and others. Mice received a single injection of alcohol and the researchers studied the effect of blocking toll-like receptors, a particular element of the immune system indicates that behavioral changes induced by alcohol.

The researchers studied the effects of receptor blockade caused by the effects of drugs and alcohol in rats that had been genetically altered so that they lacked the functions of the selected recipients.

"The results showed that blocking this part of the immune system was to reduce the effects of alcohol," said Dr. Hutchinson. He believes that a similar treatment might work in humans.

"Drugs that target this particular receptor - toll-like receptor 4 - may be beneficial in the treatment of alcohol dependence and acute overdoses," said Dr. Hutchinson.

   Palavras-chave:   Immune cells    Brain    Alcoholism    Alcohol    Research    University of Adelaide   
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