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Wednesday 13 December 2017

Goodbye hangover! Scientists finally crack the morning after cure

Tested on rats experiencing the equivalent of a human binge-drinking bender, it curbed brain cell loss and inflammation and improved their memory.
Tested on rats experiencing the equivalent of a human binge-drinking bender, it curbed brain cell loss and inflammation and improved their memory.
Self sabotage: the morning after

Scientists have developed the ultimate hangover cure - a drug that reduces the harmful effects of binge-drinking on the brain.

The same drug may open the door to new treatments for Alzheimer's and other brain diseases, researchers believe.

Tested on rats experiencing the equivalent of a human binge-drinking bender, it curbed brain cell loss and inflammation and improved their memory.

Attention

Evidence suggests that binge-drinking may have long-term effects on memory, decision-making and the ability to pay attention. Teenagers are especially at risk because their young brains are still developing.

The new drug, named ethane-beta-sultam, was developed over 10 years by British, Belgian and Italian scientists. Binge-drinking is defined as consuming five or more alcoholic drinks one after the other over a four to six-hour period.

Rats taking part in the study were given doses of alcohol designed to simulate binge-drinking in a human.

Their memory was tested by seeing how well they could find a hidden platform in a water maze.

Animals treated with ethane-beta-sultam were able to navigate the maze as well as those not fed alcohol.

"One of things that alcohol does is to destroy some of the brain cells which are important for navigation and orientation," Professor Mike Page, from the University of Huddersfield, said.

"But a combination of alcohol and our compound could overcome this damage."

Future work may turn up a compound that performs even better than ethane-beta-sultam, he said.

hnews@herald.ie

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