Physiological Basis of Behavior

 
 
 
 
Alcohol abuse and alcoholism take a staggering toll on society and individuals affected either directly or indirectly by the disease. Annually the costs to society in the U.S. are approximately $185 billion. Traditionally, psychosocial explanations of alcohol abuse and alcoholism have been the basis for prevention and treatment. Nevertheless, a crop of new research over the past decade demonstrates a biogenetic and physiological root cause for alcohol seeking behavior and alcoholism. This research study proposes an experiment with the purpose of determining the impact on brain chemistry and physiology from heavy alcohol consumption. Specifically, hamsters provided with alcoholic liquid are measured for enkephalin levels in the whole brain compared to a control group of hamsters provided with water only. The results of the experiment demonstrate that there is a strong correlation between heavy consumption of alcohol and lowered enkephalin levels. Such findings add to the general and growing support of recent research that there are biological and physiological root causes of alcohol abuse and alcoholism. Such research may lead to more targeted treatments that bolster psychosocial approaches that often fail to achieve abstinence in individuals subjected to them.

Introduction……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………03

Methods…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………05

     
 
 
 
    

 

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