Specific Gene-Targeting Could Help Treatments to Reduce Desire For Alcohol In Problem Drinkers

A report recently published in the Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences, announced the identification of a hormone link between the brain and the liver that may control people's alcohol consumption. This depends on which version they carry of a particular gene.

An article in Medical News Today quote Paul Elliott, one of the senior investigators and a professor in the School of Public Health at Imperial College London in the U.K., who stated: "Alcohol drinking in excess is a major public health problem worldwide and we need to find new ways of reducing the harmful effects of alcohol in the population. Even small shifts downward in the average amount of alcohol people drink may have major health benefits."

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), in 2012, about 3.3 million deaths - or 5.9 percent of all deaths worldwide - were attributable to alcohol consumption.

The Medical News Today article goes on to point out that Alcohol consumption is a causal factor in over 200 disease and injury conditions.

A significant proportion of this burden arises from unintentional and intentional injuries, such as from road traffic collisions, violence, and attempted suicides - with fatal alcohol-related injuries being more common among younger people