Drunken rats kick the habit
16 June 2008
This research was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Alcohol addiction is a big problem in the UK.
Image: Rob Bouwman/Dreamstime
Alcohol-related illness costs the NHS 270 million pounds each year - and can cause serious damage to both physical and mental health.
People's brains behave in a similar way to rodents' brains, which helps scientists understand addiction.
Lab rats initially have to be persuaded to drink alcohol, but they quickly develop a taste for it.
Image: Paco Ayala/Fotolia
Dopamine is a chemical associated with pleasure and addiction.
Image: iStockphoto/Shannon Varis
'We don't yet know exactly how GDNF works - we're looking at that at the moment' says researcher Dorit Ron.
Dorit Ron, alcohol addiction expert, University of California, San Francisco.
Image: Dorit Ron