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Alcohol Encourages Brain Cell Regeneration

Alcohol Consumption Encourages Brain Cell Regeneration

By Marietta Gross - Scoop Media Auckland.

A moderate consumption of alcohol over a longer period boosts the building of new neurons in the brains of adults. This surprising result was presented by a Swedish team of researchers from the Karolinska Institutet ( The repeatedly produced nerve cells have an important function for the memory and learning aptitudes of the brain.

The improved cell production also influences the development of an addiction to alcohol and other long term effects of alcohol on the brain. The results of the study were published in the current edition of the International Journals of Neuropsychopharm ( ) .

At a test series with mice the researchers were able to assert that a long term and moderate consumption of alcohol within a normal social structure causes a constant regeneration of brain cells. The continuing new formation of cells counteracts the neuronal degeneration, but is also directly connected with the development of an alcohol addiction.

“Maybe the improved production of new cells during the alcohol consumption can be attributed to a psychopharmaceutical effect of alcohol – similar to antidepressants”, explained research executive Stefan Brené. The number of regenerated cells is also determined by factors such as stress, depressions, physical activity and the taking of medicine. Now the team wants to find out, which tasks are undertaken by the new neurons in terms of the brain activity.


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