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Gene Discovery Could be the Key to Understanding Binge Drinking

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Studies show that alcoholism is genetic and runs in the family. Now scientists put their finger on why this is. A binge drinking gene has been determined. There has been a discovery that if you manipulate the production of TLR4 which is a toll- like receptor chances are you will have a reduction of binge drinking.

Human emotions are regulated by the amygdala which is known as the pleasure center of the brain and in the past has been linked to alcohol addiction. Everyone likes to feel good and many people start abusing alcohol and other substances but scientists discovered that if you artificially stimulate the TLR4 users lose interest in binge drinking.

There are rehabs and treatment centers all over the world but yet we can still improve the public health burden that is caused by excessive alcohol use. Gene therapy is another way of dealing with this issue but the difficult part about that is identifying the target gene.

Binge drinking isn’t healthy at any age but it is noted that in teenagers it may damage memory as well as other long term health implications like heart disease, cancer, and stroke. Brain development gets put on hold while one drinks excessively causing them to perform poorly in school and other important activities they have going on in their lives.

Researchers whose studies have been published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences said there are ongoing studies into the possible impact to binge drinking of TLR4.”It is possible TLR4 contributes to binge drinking at other, as yet unstudied brain sites, potentially through distinct mechanisms implicated in the addiction cycle and involving different cell types” stated by Professor June from the University of Maryland.


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  • Jason Wittman, MPS

    It is quite simplistic thinking, although very medical-like, to think that the solution to binge drinking is to tinker with a gene. This same thinking brought us heroin to cure morphine addiction and methadone to cure heroin. I do not believe that a person who is not a daily drinker just gets up one morning and for no particular reason goes on a binge. My experience working with clients for over 35 years is that people who binge are those that hold in feelings, put on a good act of being OK, and persevere until the internal pressure of those accumulated feelings becomes unbearable. Some people just explode at that point. Others binge drink.

    I don’t see how disabling the TLR4 gene button is going to solve anything. It might eliminate binging but what are the unintended consequences of suppressing that coping mechanism? Will they explode, go ballistic and shoot people instead? This is another lame medical attempt to deal with an emotional problem by dealing with the symptoms. Binge drinking is a symptom of an inability to responsibly deal with one’s feelings. Teach people to do that and the symptoms will be eliminated.

  • Jason Wittman, MPS

    It is quite simplistic thinking, although very medical-like, to think that the solution to binge drinking is to tinker with a gene. This same thinking brought us heroin to cure morphine addiction and methadone to cure heroin. I do not believe that a person who is not a daily drinker just gets up one morning and for no particular reason goes on a binge. My experience working with clients for over 35 years is that people who binge are those that hold in feelings, put on a good act of being OK, and persevere until the internal pressure of those accumulated feelings becomes unbearable. Some people just explode at that point. Others binge drink.

    I don’t see how disabling the TLR4 gene button is going to solve anything. It might eliminate binging but what are the unintended consequences of suppressing that coping mechanism? Will they explode, go ballistic and shoot people instead? This is another lame medical attempt to deal with an emotional problem by dealing with the symptoms. Binge drinking is a symptom of an inability to responsibly deal with one’s feelings. Teach people to do that and the symptoms will be eliminated.

  • Jason Wittman, MPS

    It is quite simplistic thinking, although very medical-like, to think that the solution to binge drinking is to tinker with a gene. This same thinking brought us heroin to cure morphine addiction and methadone to cure heroin. I do not believe that a person who is not a daily drinker just gets up one morning and for no particular reason goes on a binge. My experience working with clients for over 35 years is that people who binge are those that hold in feelings, put on a good act of being OK, and persevere until the internal pressure of those accumulated feelings becomes unbearable. Some people just explode at that point. Others binge drink.

    I don’t see how disabling the TLR4 gene button is going to solve anything. It might eliminate binging but what are the unintended consequences of suppressing that coping mechanism? Will they explode, go ballistic and shoot people instead? This is another lame medical attempt to deal with an emotional problem by dealing with the symptoms. Binge drinking is a symptom of an inability to responsibly deal with one’s feelings. Teach people to do that and the symptoms will be eliminated.

  • Jason Wittman, MPS

    It is quite simplistic thinking, although very medical-like, to think that the solution to binge drinking is to tinker with a gene. This same thinking brought us heroin to cure morphine addiction and methadone to cure heroin. I do not believe that a person who is not a daily drinker just gets up one morning and for no particular reason goes on a binge. My experience working with clients for over 35 years is that people who binge are those that hold in feelings, put on a good act of being OK, and persevere until the internal pressure of those accumulated feelings becomes unbearable. Some people just explode at that point. Others binge drink.

    I don’t see how disabling the TLR4 gene button is going to solve anything. It might eliminate binging but what are the unintended consequences of suppressing that coping mechanism? Will they explode, go ballistic and shoot people instead? This is another lame medical attempt to deal with an emotional problem by dealing with the symptoms. Binge drinking is a symptom of an inability to responsibly deal with one’s feelings. Teach people to do that and the symptoms will be eliminated.