Steep Increase in Rate of Alcohol-Related Emergency Department Visits

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The rate of alcohol-related visits to U.S. emergency departments (EDs) increased by nearly 50 percent between 2006 and 2014, especially among females and drinkers who are middle-aged or older, according to a new study conducted by NIAAA researchers. “In just 9 years, the number of people transported to the ED annually for medical emergencies caused … Read more

Hunger Hormone Affects Alcohol Intake

X-ray of human body

A new study by researchers at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) provides further evidence that a hormone produced in the stomach influences alcohol consumption in humans. As reported in Molecular Psychiatry, researchers led by Lorenzo Leggio, M.D., Ph.D., demonstrated that the hormone, called ghrelin, may be a promising target for developing … Read more

MicroRNAs May Have Therapeutic Potential for Alcohol-Induced Liver Injury

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MicroRNAs, or miRNAs, are short strands of RNA that play important roles in gene regulation. In two recent studies, researchers supported by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) identified two miRNAs that may help protect against alcohol-induced liver injury. Paramananda Saikia, Ph.D., and colleagues at the Cleveland Clinic, in studies conducted in … Read more

Brain Studies Point to Perils of Adolescent Alcohol Use

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The brain takes longer to develop and mature than any other organ in the body. Beginning in the third week of gestation and extending into the mid-20s, an ongoing interplay of genetic and environmental factors results in the mature human brain, a structure composed of more than 100 billion neurons. Some of the most rapid … Read more

New Prevalence Estimates of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Range From 1 to 5 Percent in U.S. Communities

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Findings reflect a more comprehensive approach and larger sample size than previous studies A study of more than 6,000 first-graders across 4 U.S. communities has found that a significant number of children have fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD), with conservative rates ranging from 1 to 5 percent in community samples. The new findings represent more … Read more

Lack of sleep may be linked to risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease

Illustration of beta-amyloid accumulation

Preliminary NIH study shows increased levels of beta-amyloid Losing just one night of sleep led to an immediate increase in beta-amyloid, a protein in the brain associated with Alzheimer’s disease, according to a small, new study by researchers at the National Institutes of Health. In Alzheimer’s disease, beta-amyloid proteins clump together to form amyloid plaques, … Read more