Binge-drinking linked to mutant gene

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LAGER LOUTS may not be totally to blame for their bad behaviour.

Scientists have discovered a binge-drinking gene that makes people want to drink more.

They found that the mutant version of the RASGRF2 gene makes the brain more sensitive to habit-forming addictions, including alcohol. In a study of both mice and young teenage boys it was closely linked to alcohol-seeking behaviour. The research confirmed that those young men with the RASGRF2 variant consumed alcohol the most often.

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Professor Gunter Schumann, from the Institute of Psychiatry at King’s College in London, said: “People seek out situations which fulfil their sense of reward and make them happy, so if your brain is wired to find alcohol rewarding, you will seek it out.”

Around six in 10 young people aged 11 to 15 in England consume alcohol and the rates of teenage binge-drinking have soared in recent years. 


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