There are two kinds of people who raise their glasses (jars) in the pubs. Those who are celebrating some happy turn in their life and those who are cursing the unlucky twist of fate. And then there are those who are contemplating on their life choices and wondering whether they should booze it out or not. Well, they may certainly find some solace in a few pints of alcohol.
A study conducted by Kimberly Raab-Graham, Ph.D., associate professor of physiology and pharmacology at University of Texas has found out that alcohol changes the neural pathways and chemical structure in the same way some rapidly altering antidepressants do. The study was supported by National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.
The scientists claim that they have critical data concerning behavioral and biochemical patterns to prove their theory. Because of the strong linkage between depression and alcoholism, depressed people turn to alcohol as a self-medication process to repress their depression.
In their study, that used animal models, they found a single dose of a concentrated amount of alcohol to block receptors associated with learning and memory and transformed an inhibitory neurotransmitter to an excitatory neurotransmitter and these changes in the body last for at least 24 hours.
Kimberly says, “Additional research is needed in this area, but our findings do provide a biological basis for the natural human instinct to self-medicate. They also define a molecular mechanism that may be a critical contributor to the comorbidity that occurs with alcohol use disorder and major depressive disorder.”
Recently, a single dose of rapid antidepressant has proven to relieve psychological symptoms within hours even in individuals who are resistant to traditional antidepressants. The study proved that alcohol follows the same pathway in the brain as antidepressants do and induces the same effects as these rapid antidepressants.
So maybe the development of next generation antidepressants will be a derivative of whiskey and booze. Or maybe we’ll extract antidepressants directly from grapes. Who knows?