Just The One Will Do.
The first experience with alcohol is a learning situation, and as such it is associated with changes in neurochemistry and the activity of specific neuronal subsets.
In a recent study published in The Journal of Neuroscience, a research team led by Dr. Dorit Ron at the University of California, San Francisco examined whether a single exposure to alcohol can induce memory and behavioural changes that could promote future drinking. Their data suggest that the perceived benefits of alcohol are registered and stored in memory from the first encounter. This data also advances understanding of the neurological changes that accompany alcohol and related substance abuse and addiction, and highlights a previously unappreciated molecular pathway in alcohol-based learning.
This study expands current understanding about the neurological changes that accompany initial alcohol exposure and suggest that similar alterations may underlie the reward-based learning associated with alcohol and other substance abuse. The data also identifies potential therapeutic targets for developing drugs to help patients dealing with addiction.