Researchers at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center are poised to give new meaning to the concept “a shot and a beer.”
Here’s the deal…
A new “sobering up” injection that could potentially help people quickly recover from hangovers is being explored by scientists according to the Drinks Business.
A recent study in a research journal named Cell Metabolism, explains the hormone FGF21, which can be found in the liver, is currently being looked at to target the liver-brain pathway and treat acute alcohol poisoning.
And scientists leading the study at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Texas have concluded that the liver (the primary organ responsible for the detoxification of alcohol) can also help mitigate the prolonged effects of alcohol by signals to the brain to protect it.
Dr Steven Kliewer, lead author of the study, stated how he hoped that FGF21 could be useful for treating people with acute alcohol poisoning….
“By increasing FGF21 concentrations even higher by injection, we can dramatically accelerate recovery from intoxication. FGF21 does this by activating a very specific part of the brain that controls alertness”.
“Increasing alertness and wakefulness would be helpful both for avoiding the need for intubation as unconscious patients can choke to death on their vomit) and for speeding up evaluation and treatment of other concurrent injuries.”
In a breakthrough of sorts the researchers “discovered that the liver is not only involved in metabolizing alcohol but that it also sends a hormonal signal to the brain to protect against the harmful effects of intoxication, including both loss of consciousness and coordination.”
“Humans have long searched for agents that could reverse drunkenness, and now we have discovered something to achieve this effect that’s been in our bodies the whole time, Dr David Mangelsdorf, who co-authored the study, added.
The FGF21 hormone has already been used in clinical trials on humans for other conditions and the team at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center has is “exploring avenues” to test it further to help people sober up.
“We don’t want to send the signal that it’s OK to get drunk because a drug can undo it,” Kliewer explained to Dallas Innovates. “But FGF21 may eventually be able to prevent some negative consequences for people incapacitated from alcohol.”