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Science articles and research links 2 (compressed edition)

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Science articles and research links 2 (compressed edition)

Old 06-29-2011, 09:15 PM
  # 21 (permalink)  
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I have not read all of it but it looks pretty interesting. Discusses the possible origins of alchoholism.

http://icb.oxfordjournals.org/content/44/4/315.full

Abstract:
Ethanol is a naturally occurring substance resulting from the fermentation by yeast of fruit sugars. The association between yeasts and angiosperms dates to the Cretaceous, and dietary exposure of diverse frugivorous taxa to ethanol is similarly ancient. Ethanol plumes can potentially be used to localize ripe fruit, and consumption of low-concentration ethanol within fruit may act as a feeding stimulant. Ripe and over-ripe fruits of the Neotropical palm Astrocaryum standleyanum contained ethanol within the pulp at concentrations averaging 0.9% and 4.5%, respectively. Fruit ripening was associated with significant changes in color, puncture resistance, sugar, and ethanol content. Natural consumption rates of ethanol via frugivory and associated blood levels are not known for any animal taxon. However, behavioral responses to ethanol may have been the target of natural selection for all frugivorous species, including many primates and the hominoid lineages ancestral to modern humans. Pre-existing sensory biases associating this ancient psychoactive compound with nutritional reward might accordingly underlie contemporary patterns of alcohol consumption and abuse.
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Old 07-07-2011, 10:03 AM
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I found this article interesting.

Understanding Alcohol's Damaging Effects on the Brain

Not as much detail as I would have liked but I'm curious to find out how this will play out for the future of the alcohol industry:

"In other words," said Homanics, "alcohol exerts its effects via binding sites on target molecules just like all other drugs we know about. There is now solid evidence from several different putative alcohol targets using several different techniques that alcohol interacts with specific brain targets in a highly selective manner. This is particularly important for more senior clinicians and researchers that were trained years ago when the predominant theory of alcohol action was via nonspecific effects on the nervous system." Both Howard and Homanics are hopeful that this research will aid the development of therapies and treatments for individuals with alcohol problems."

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Old 07-10-2011, 03:39 AM
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this is a quote from wikipedia about kindling:-

Kindling due to substance withdrawal, refers to the neurological condition which results from repeated withdrawal episodes from sedative-hypnotic drugs such as alcohol or benzodiazepines. Each withdrawal leads to more severe withdrawal symptoms than the first withdrawal syndrome. Individuals who have had more withdrawal episodes are at an increased risk of very severe withdrawal symptoms, up to and including seizures.
<snip>
Repeated acute intoxication followed by acute withdrawal is associated with profound behavioural changes and neurobiological alterations in several brain regions. Much of the documented evidence of kindling due to multiple detoxifications regards increased seizure frequency.
Kindling (sedative-hypnotic withdrawal) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

i'm horrified that the big book and more up to date resources on quitting never mentioned this, yet they should because if i had known about it i wouldn't have treated quitting so lightly, and it is true that each time it gets harder physically and with the withdrawal symptoms.

this time i drank a little less each day over 3 days to stop that sudden slump from intoxicated brain to sober, and it's been a lot easier physically than the last attempt i made to stop.

this information is vital to all alcoholics/alcohol abusers and yet i only heard of it recently when i was reading non-recovery related webpages.

surely anyone promoting any kind of recovery should warn us that stopping dead and then resuming is incredibly dangerous, more so than weaning ourselves down or (even) continuing to drink until we're absolutely certain we have a method to stop? because in the past i used to think any few days without drinking were a victory, yet this and the related information seem to clearly indicate it's worse, and also potentially undermines serious future efforts to stop.

it would probably have helped motivate me to stay stopped if i'd know each time i was causing damage of this kind, so i wonder why no-one talks about this?

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Old 11-12-2011, 12:02 PM
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Interesting article.

Scientists pinpoint the brain circuitry linked to making healthy or unhealthy choices
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Old 11-12-2011, 01:07 PM
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Drug addiction treatment: David Eagleman hopes to use neuroscience to treat addicts.

Really great progress on treating addiction!
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Old 11-14-2011, 07:42 AM
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This isn't actually a science aricle but rather an interview with Bob Forrest a rock and roll recovery specialist with 15 years sober. He has dome very interesting thoughts on sobriety and I really related to a lot he had to say.

http://m.cnn.com/primary/_wRAAHa-i7orcjLBImy
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Old 02-11-2012, 05:58 PM
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From Psychology Today: Corrupted Choice—Not Disease—In the Addicted Brain

"Understanding these neural changes is essential for understand how "choice" gets hijacked by addiction."
-Marc Lewis, Ph.D. in Addicted Brains
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Old 02-11-2012, 07:07 PM
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This one is good, too, also by Marc Lewis.

Psychology Today: "Is Addiction the Result of Brain Evolution? Brains that evolved for goal-pursuit easily end up addicted."
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