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Neuroscientist says there’s one way to find out if you’re predisposed to be an alcoholic

Neuroscientist says there’s one way to find out if you’re predisposed to be an alcoholic

The expert spoke about the feelings of alcoholism

Warning: This article contains discussion of alcoholism which some readers may find distressing.

According to a neuroscientist, there’s one way to find out if it’s possible that you’re predisposed to be an alcoholic.

Alcoholism occurs when a person becomes dependent on drinking and loses control of it.

But unfortunately for some people there may be biological pre-dispositions to the addiction to alcohol that can run in their families - putting them at higher risk.

Andrew Huberman is a neuroscientist and associate professor of neurobiology and ophthalmology at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

Andrew Huberman is a neuroscientist. (YouTube/@hubermanlab)
Andrew Huberman is a neuroscientist. (YouTube/@hubermanlab)

During a previous episode of his The Huberman Lab podcast, he said: "I want to mention something that I think most people aren't aware of, and that's the fact that for people that are regular drinkers or that have a genetic predisposition to alcoholism, when they drink, they tend to feel very energised and very good for longer periods of time."

And that works out with a large part of addiction is that unhealthy cycle of feeling a high or sense of relief while taking a substance before seeking to experience that again when it wears off.

The expert claimed that this doesn’t just apply to ‘chronic’ drinkers but those who might see themselves as more casual drinkers - potentially a sign of having a functional tolerance.

“Again, people who have a genetic predisposition to alcohol or people who are chronic drinkers or even just, if you recall, chronic doesn't have to mean a ton of alcohol," Huberman explained.

It may be that you're predisposed. (Getty Stock Image)
It may be that you're predisposed. (Getty Stock Image)

“But they're drinking one or two per night or they're every other night type drinkers or Thursday through Sunday drinkers, those people typically experience an increase in alertness and mood when they drink."

This differs massively to those who don’t regularly drink as instead they tend to have 'a briefer, meaning less long-lasting, period of feeling good when they drink and then more quickly transition into a state in which they're tired or they start losing motor skills, they start slurring their speech'.

The neuroscientist added that these described side effects are different from alcohol tolerance which also differs between people.

"I want to be really clear that when people drink, no matter who you are, initially, there's that shutting down of those prefrontal cortical circuits," he said.

Huberman also claimed that there are differences in the effects but it can usually determine if you do or don’t have a predisposition for alcoholism.

Please drink responsibly. If you want to discuss any issues relating to alcohol in confidence, contact Drinkline on 0300 123 1110, 9am–8pm weekdays and 11am–4pm weekends for advice and support.

Featured Image Credit: Getty Stock Images

Topics: Health, Science, Alcohol