The new study revealed that teenagers who binge drink could be damaging the brain development of their brains and results in psychiatric disorders including alcoholism in later life.
The study, published in the journal Neurobiology of Disease, found evidence that binge drinking effectively changed the shape of the DNA in the animal’s brains at a crucial stage of their development. Tissue analysis showed that the DNA was wrapped more tightly around proteins in those rats which had been exposed to binge drinking conditions as adolescents than in those which had not, as a result of chemical changes.
The team, led by Prof Subhash Pandey, director of neuroscience alcoholism research at UIC’s Chicago College of Medicine, believe they have found the mechanism by which binge drinking affects people in later life. “This may be the mechanism through which adolescent binge-drinking increases the risk for psychiatric disorders, including alcoholism, in adulthood,” said Prof Pandey. But when some rats were given a cancer drug, the DNA was observed less tightly coiled. “Our study provides a mechanism for how binge-drinking during adolescence may lead to lasting (epigenetic) changes that result in increased anxiety and alcoholism in adults”, he added.