Aldosterone is a hormone in the brain that isn’t frequently spoken about. Produced by the adrenal glands, the hormone takes part in regulating and controlling blood pressure. In addition, the aldosterone hormone helps balance electrolytes, which are needed for energy. New research from the NIAAA, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism discovered that aldosterone has a specific part in the relationship between the brain and alcohol. In the study’s human-based research, participants who were previously diagnosed with a alcohol use disorder had their brains analyzed for twelve weeks. Some of the participants were able to give up their alcohol use of the duration of the study while others did not. The brain analysis found that the more a participant was drinking, the higher amounts of aldosterone they had in the brain. Interestingly, the more aldosterone participants had in their system, the more anxiety they experience in addition to cravings for alcohol.
How aldosterone interacts with the brain
Alcoholism lives in many different parts of the brain. Discussing the neurobiology of addiction there is common mention of dopamine, a neurotransmitter, and the nucleus accumbens, or the reward center of the brain. The prefrontal cortex is heavily involved in alcoholism because cognitive functioning lives in the prefrontal cortex. Cognitive functions can include decision making, development, and more. The amygdala, on the other hand, is the area of the brain responsible for emotional processing. Aldosterone gets into the prefrontal cortex and the amygdala through mineralocorticoid receptors. As a result, there is dysfunction in regulating drinking and managing cravings.
Hope for treatment
Research into the brain and how it is affected by alcohol has a tremendous effect in opening new avenues for treatment. The more we can learn and understand about the brain the more opportunities we create for new treatment methods. It is possible that in the future of alcoholism treatment, hormone therapy could be involved for reducing the production of aldosterone. Perhaps there will be a mineralocorticoid blocker medication developed that could curb cravings.
Until there are more developments in the treatment of alcoholism, there are proven methods of treatment which have been proven successful for many different people around the world. Oceanfront Recovery stays committed to providing men and women with solution-focused treatment so they can change their lives for the better. We believe that when you change your story, you change your life. Start your story of recovery today by calling us for information on our treatment programs and services: 877.279.1777