Adolescent drinking affects adult behavior through genetic changes

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Adolescent drinking affects adult behavior through genetic changes

Binge-drinking during adolescence may perturb brain development at a critical time and leave lasting effects on genes and behavior that persist into adulthood.

The findings, by researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine using an animal model, are reported online in the journal Neurobiology of Disease.

“This may be the mechanism through which adolescent binge-drinking increases the risk for psychiatric disorders, including alcoholism, in adulthood,” says lead author Subhash Pandey, professor of psychiatry and director of neuroscience alcoholism research at UIC.

Pandey and his colleagues used experimental rats to investigate the effects of intermittent alcohol exposure during the adolescent stage of development.

On-and-off exposure to alcohol during adolescence altered the activity of genes needed for normal brain maturation, said Pandey, who is also a research career scientist at the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center. The gene alterations “increased anxiety-like behaviors and preference for alcohol in adulthood,” he said.

Read more at: UIC Today

Featured Profile

Subhash C. Pandey PhD

  • Director, Center for Alcohol Research in Epigenetics
  • Professor of Biochemistry in Psychiatry
  • Professor of Anatomy and Cell Biology
  • Director, Neuroscience Alcoholism Research
  • Senior VA Career Research Scientist
  • Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine, University of Illinois at Chicago

(312) 413-1310
scpandeyatuic [dot] edu