Energy drinks and alcohol may affect adolescent brains in similar way to cocaine

Written by Peter Brown

Researchers from Purdue University (West Lafayette, IN, USA) have observed that consumption of highly caffeinated alcoholic beverages elicits alterations in the adolescent brain, activating similar brain pathways engaged by substances of abuse such as cocaine. The study, published in PLoS ONE, investigated prolonged caffeine-mixed alcohol exposure in adolescent C57BL/6 mice models of common drug-related behaviors such as locomotor sensitivity, drug reward, cross-sensitivity and natural reward following previous research that demonstrated adolescent caffeine consumption may increase cocaine sensitivity. “It seems the two substances together push them over a limit that causes changes in their behavior and changes the neurochemistry in their...

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