Brain biomarker predicts compulsive drinking

Although alcohol use is ubiquitous in modern society, only a portion of individuals develop alcohol use disorders or addiction. Yet, scientists have not understood why some individuals are prone to develop drinking problems, while others are not. Now, researchers have discovered a brain circuit that controls alcohol drinking behavior in mice, and can be used as a biomarker for predicting the development of compulsive drinking later on.

Diverging trends: Binge drinking and depression

Binge drinking among U.S. adolescents precipitously declined from 1991 to 2018, according to a new study. Depressive symptoms among U.S. adolescents have sharply increased since 2012. And for the first time in the past 40 years, binge drinking and depressive symptoms among adolescents are no longer associated.