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Our personality influences alcohol consumption

Our personality influences alcohol consumption


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Why do some people tend to drink alcohol in an uncontrolled manner?

People with a certain personality type seem to be significantly more susceptible to uncontrolled consumption of alcohol, as a recent study shows.

The latest research by Vanderbilt University and the Salk Institute found that people with a certain personality are more likely to have problems consuming excessive amounts of alcohol. The results of the study were published in the English-language journal "Science".

Many people drink more alcohol at Christmas time

Different personality types were examined in order to find out which are particularly susceptible to uncontrolled alcohol consumption (binge drinking, binge drinking). The results of the research work are particularly interesting during Christmas and New Year's Eve, given the fact that many people drink more alcohol around this time.

Does a lack of self-control lead to an uncontrolled consumption of alcohol?

According to the new study, some people may have greater difficulty in avoiding alcohol than others. However, this is not necessarily due to their self-control, but to how our brains are networked.

These three personality types influence alcohol consumption

The researchers examined the brain of mice after the animals had been exposed to alcohol. An attempt was made to find out which animals were forced to drink alcohol. It was found that there are three different types of personalities with regard to alcohol consumption: drinkers with light consumption, drinkers with moderate consumption and compulsive drinkers.

Processes in the brain can trigger uncontrolled alcohol consumption

Compulsive drinking people continue to consume alcohol even though they have already drunk too much and have negative effects. According to the researchers, the brains of the affected people trigger processes that make them consume alcohol far beyond their normal limits.

Punishment signals and their effects

Our drinking behavior seems to be influenced by signals from our brain, which are also known as so-called punishment signals. These keep us from drinking too much alcohol by keeping in mind that if we keep drinking alcohol we will be very bad.

Decreased punitive signals encourage high alcohol consumption

People with reduced punitive signals tend not to think about the possible consequences of increased alcohol consumption and rather to show compulsive drinking behavior. Since a connection between the signals in the brain and the consumption of alcohol was obvious, the researchers were able to predict exactly which mice would consume too much alcohol.

How do you predict compulsive drinking?

As the researchers report, it was actually possible to predict exactly which mice would start consuming alcohol compulsively. The key factor in the prediction was the neural activity the very first time the animals drank alcohol.

We have to protect young people from drinking alcohol

The results of the investigation could help to prevent so-called coma drinking, which is particularly popular with adolescents. But many adults also have problems with their alcohol consumption. Good news is that excessive alcohol consumption among adolescents appears to have decreased in recent years. The researchers suspect that young people's awareness of the health consequences of drinking alcohol has increased. (as)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.

Swell:

  • Cody A. Siciliano, Habiba Noamany, Chia-Jung Chang, Alex R. Brown, Xinhong Chen et al .: A cortical-brainstem circuit predicts and governs compulsive alcohol drinking, in Science (query: 02.12.2019), Science


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