Lifting the lid on primate brains



By Paul BieglerResearchers have found mice that binge drink when given free access to alcohol have a previously unidentified brain circuit that is out of whack.The wiring error may mean the rodents don’t experience the negative outcomes of drinking, such as bad feelings and pain hypersensitivity, which pushes them to over imbibe.The finding, published in the journal Science, could fuel new research to hunt down a similar circuit in people with alcohol use disorders.The researchers, led by neurobiologist Kay Tye from the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, US, point to the puzzling statistic that while 80% of people will try alcohol, less than 30% go on to become compulsive drinkers. “So many people are exposed to alcohol at some point in their lives, but why is it that some people can drink casually, just for fun, and other people develop alcohol use disorders?” asks Tye.Excess alcohol is a factor in more than 200 diseases, yet only half of…



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