Researchers from University of North Carolina School of Medicine in Chapel Hill report in Nature Neuroscience the discovery that a naturally occurring brain protein can suppress binge alcohol drinking. NPY could be a useful treatment for alcohol use disorders and may also prevent some people from becoming alcohol dependent, according to the researchers.

In the new study, the University of North Carolina (UNC) team used “a series of genetic and pharmacological approaches” to identify a protein in the brain called neuropeptide Y (NPY) that suppressed binge drinking behavior in a mouse model.

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