Sexually Thwarted Fruit Flies May Turn To Alcohol

Written by Eliza Player on Tuesday, 03 April 2012. Posted in Breaking News, Alcohol

Sexually Thwarted Fruit Flies May Turn To Alcohol

New research suggests that sexually thwarted fruit flies will take refuge in alcohol, while just-mated flies are more likely to pass on the booze.   According to FoxNews.com , the alcoholic tendencies of chronically rejected flies may be due to decreased levels of a brain chemical called neuropeptide F (NPF), which researchers play a role in the fly’s reward system.  When the fly does something that would be good for it evolutionarily, such as mating or eating food, and internal mechanism increases NPF.  But NPF levels can be increased by outside mechanisms, including alcohol.

One study researcher said, “What we discovered was an internal play between internal rewards and external rewards. There’s some kind of system in the brain, which we think is NPF regulating, that represents the level of internal reward.  If there is perturbation in the level of NPF in the brain, there are behaviors that will return the levels back to normal.”

Humans have a similar neuropeptide in their brains, called neuropeptide Y, and researchers have found a link NPY and reward-related behaviors such as eating.  NPY is also known to inhibit alcohol consumptions, and mutations in NPY has been noticed in alcoholics.  Researchers hope this information will be helpful in treating alcoholism.

Image courtesy of Fox News and Wikipedia.

About the Author

Eliza Player

Eliza Player

I have been writing as long as I can remember, even carrying tattered notebooks with me through the streets and strip clubs of New Orleans, in the midst of my heroin addiction. I lived a life saturated in heroin until Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans, leaving me to fend for myself, eventually facing my demons and coming face to face with my addiction. I have been clean for five years, and since then I have become a mother, graduated college, and started a writing career. I have a B.A. in Mass Media Communication, with a minor in Journalism. I have also written one published book, Through Both Hell and High Water: A Memoir of Addiction and Hurricane Katrina, which tells the story of those dark days I spent in New Orleans after the storm, battling with addiction amidst a natural disaster. I am the blogger and news curator for RecoveryNowTV, and I love sharing the stories of the world, as well as my own personal journey, with my readers. I hope that my words can touch others out there, struggling with addiction.

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