Scientists from Portugal during the study concluded that regular alcohol consumption provokes the destruction of neural connections. As a result, there is a decrease in cognitive abilities and a feeling of anxiety.
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For 10 days, experts representing the University of Porto gave male rodents 5 servings of alcohol, equivalent to a human dose of 1 glass of beer. On the last day of the experiment, researchers examined the brains of mice and found that alcohol activated microglia – cells in the central nervous system that recognize and remove microorganisms. But the immune cells that were awakened consumed and destroyed the connecting synapses between neurons in the prefrontal cortex. Rodents with these impairments showed anxiety and cognitive problems.
Studies that were carried out later revealed that when microglia are activated, the formation of the TNF molecule increases. After using the drug pomalidomide to suppress it, the mice became calmer and the brain dysfunctions subsided. The same effect was obtained after disabling the Tnf gene encoding this molecule. Experts say that the immune cells in the brain of a person who abuse alcohol are hyperactive, but it was not fully understood how microglia damage them. With the help of a new study, it became clear not only the cause of increased anxiety in people who like to drink alcohol, but also an opportunity to develop means to combat this phenomenon, according to RIA Novosti.