You know the ones. They like to party to excess and it can get to be a habit. In fact, binge drinking is considered a major health problem in this country and cost an estimated 170 billion in healthcare dollars.

Now researchers at the University of North Carolina have at least part of an explanation that could allow you to put the brakes on with that next drink. It is a compound normally found in high levels in the brain, called Neuropeptide Y (NPY). NPY has critical impact on stopping binge behavior. In the amygdala, it literally is the brakes to counter act another chemical called corticotropin releasing factor or CRF. When there are low levels of NPY in the brain, the brakes fail, and it has also been associated with major depressive disorder.

Mice helped the researchers at UNC figure out the way to mimic NPY to stop binging. This is the first time a specific area of the brain has been identified in binge behavior, offering possible treatment.


%d bloggers like this: