It has been said often that drinking habits are more a matter of the heart, than the mind. However, these sort of analogies work only to soothe the conscious, rather than provide any real solutions.
Finding a solution to curb our drinking habits is a very real concern though, as millions of people struggle with alcoholism on a day basis.
Now, scientists from the Texas A&M College of Medicine seem to have found the real trigger for this problem, in the form of very specific neurons in the brain that enable and discourage drinking habits.
These newly discovered neurons are located in the Dorsomedial Striatum, and play a major role in controlling alcohol addiction.
The connection between the neurons and alcohol consumption comes in the form of small, spiny protrusions that branch off them.
These protrusions are named D1 and D2, with D1 being responsible for more alcohol consumption and D2 being responsible for less alcohol consumption.
This theory has already been tested in mice with promising results. The scientists will now work on finding ways of actually manipulating these neurons in order to help curb alcoholic tendencies in mice.
While the gap between testing for mice and creating a cure for humans is a big one, the hope is that once it is covered, we would finally have a tangible cure for alcoholism.