Tue, Feb 28, 2017 | updated 07:54 PM IST

Alcohol mixed with energy drink causes similar risk as cocaine

Updated: Oct 26, 2016 13:46 IST

WahingtonD.C. [US], Oct. 26 (ANI): Drinking highly caffeinated alcoholic beverages trigger changes in the adolescent brain, similar to taking cocaine, and the consequences last into adulthood, according to a recent research conducted at Purdue University.

Lead researcher Richard van Rijn looked at the effects of highly caffeinated energy drinks and highly caffeinated alcohol in adolescent mice.

These alcohol studies cannot be performed in adolescent humans but changes seen in mouse brains with drugs of abuse have been shown to correlate to those in humans in many drug studies.

These energy drinks can contain as much as 10 times the caffeine as soda and are often marketed to adolescents.

But little is known about the health effects of the drinks, especially when consumed with alcohol during adolescence.

The study showed adolescent mice given high-caffeine energy drinks were not more likely than a control group to drink more alcohol as adults.

But when those high levels of caffeine were mixed with alcohol and given to adolescent mice, they showed physical and neurochemical signs similar to mice given cocaine.

"It seems the two substances together push them over a limit that causes changes in their behavior and changes the neurochemistry in their brains," van Rijn said.

Adding, "We're clearly seeing effects of the combined drinks that we would not see if drinking one or the other."

With repeated exposure to the caffeinated alcohol, those adolescent mice became increasingly more active, much like mice given cocaine.

The researchers also detected increased levels of the protein, which is marker of long-term changes in neurochemistry, elevated in those abusing drugs such as cocaine or morphine.

"That's one reason why it's so difficult for drug users to quit because of these lasting changes in the brain," van Rijn said.

Those same mice, as adults, showed a different preference or valuation of cocaine.

Robins found that mice exposed to caffeinated alcohol during adolescence were less sensitive to the pleasurable effects of cocaine.

While this sounds positive, it could mean that such a mouse would use more cocaine to get the same feeling as a control mouse.

"Mice that had been exposed to alcohol and caffeine were somewhat numb to the rewarding effects of cocaine as adults," van Rijn said.

"Mice that were exposed to highly caffeinated alcoholic drinks later found cocaine wasn't as pleasurable. They may then use more cocaine to get the same effect," he added.

To test that theory, Robins investigated if mice exposed to caffeinated alcohol during adolescence would consume higher amounts of a similarly pleasurable substance - saccharine, an artificial sweetener.

They predicted that if the mice exhibited a numbed sense of reward, they would consume more saccharine.

They found that the caffeine/alcohol-exposed mice drank significantly more saccharine than mice exposed to water during adolescence, confirming that the caffeine/alcohol-exposed mice must have had a chemical change in the brain.

"Their brains have been changed in such a way that they are more likely to abuse natural or pleasurable substances as adults," van Rijn said.

The results were published in the journal PLOS ONE. (ANI)

New Delhi [India], Feb. 28 (ANI): Society for the Promotion of Indian Classical Music and Culture Amongst Youth (SPIC MACAY) is organising its annual International Convention in its 40th year at IIT Delhi from 5th -11th June, 2017.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], Feb. 28 (ANI): A study finds that diagnostic mammography has improved cancer detection rates, but has also increased the abnormal interpretation rate.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Feb. 27 (ANI): Age is just a number, proves Amitabh Bachchan!

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], Feb. 28 (ANI): A study reveals millennials, pursuing career in public relations, do not feel the need to give advices on moral dilemmas, as for them, ethics are better left to the legal department or that role is beyond their responsibilities.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], Feb. 27 (ANI): Eating apples, pears, citrus fruits, salads and green leafy vegetables above ten portions a day may reduce the chances of heart attack, stroke, cancer and early death, suggests a study.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Feb 27 (ANI): India's number one craft beer brand Witlinger has launched its authentic taste and flavors with the new initiative #NowRolling to enhance consumer knowledge about craft beer with an engaging impact on the Indian Craft Beer scene.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [US], Feb. 26 (ANI): Beware and get your stress treated, as a study warns people who suffer from long-term stress may be more prone to obesity.

Full Story >>

Karachi [Pakistan], Feb. 26 (ANI): Plans for Lahore Literary Festival 2017 did not go as well as expected.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [US], Feb. 26 (ANI): A study finds, eating nutrient-enriched diet during adolescence or childhood development may alter long-term behaviour and learning among ladies.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Feb. 25 (ANI): Vivek Chaand Sehgal, chairman of the Motherson Sumi Systems Limited (MSSL), has recently been named the EY Entrepreneur of 2016 for its outstanding contribution in the world of entrepreneurship.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Feb 25 (ANI): In your free time for book lovers nothing can be more interesting than spending time with some great food paired with an array of teas while having a favorite novel in hand. Located in the prime location of Delhi, Cha Bar located inside Oxford Bookstore has lots to offer to its customers.

Full Story >>

New York [USA], Feb. 25 (ANI): It's not only the peer pressure that makes kids try alcohol or smoke pot!

Full Story >>

'Straight' women tend to orgasm less!

Updated: Feb 25, 2017 06:27 IST

New York [USA], Feb. 25 (ANI): 'Orgasm gap' is something all have experienced while making love.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Feb. 25 (ANI): A European study has revealed that the majority of university students believe it is the social norm to use drugs like Ritalin to enhance academic performance - despite very few having used stimulants themselves.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Feb. 25 (ANI): "What will they say about you? Maybe they'll say you showed them what's possible."- This is what sports brand Nike has to say through their new commercial, which has gone viral on the Internet.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [US], Feb. 24 (ANI): Parents, please take note! A study warns teenagers who self-report feeling drowsy during mid-afternoon, are 4.5 times more likely to commit violent crimes a decade and a half later.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], Feb. 24 (ANI): A team of US researchers warn, fathers, who do cocaine at the time of conceiving a child, may be putting their son at risk of learning disabilities and memory loss.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], Feb. 24 (ANI): Waring for all the sea food lovers! Consuming fish, rich in mercury may double the risk of developing motor neurone disease.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Feb. 23 (ANI): A two- day annual fest "POLITIA" was organised by political science department of Shyama Prasad Mukherjee college for Women, University of Delhi, on February 20 and 21.

Full Story >>