Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Men, women, dopamine and drink problems
Men are twice as likely to become alcoholics as women but it is unclear whether there is a biological basis behind this statistic. Researchers from Columbia and Yale University studied students giving them an alcoholic drink and then scanning their brains to see how much dopamine had been released. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that creates pleasurable effects when it is released by experiences such as alcohol and sex. The men and women drank similar amounts of alcohol but the men released more dopamine than the women. The dopamine was released in an area of the brain called the ventral striatum which is strongly associated with pleasure, reinforcement and addiction formation.
Posted by John Gale at 12:01 PM