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A research study has found that drinking a small amount of beer may trigger a part of your brain’s reward system and give one the urge to consume more alcohol.

Researchers have found that when someone drinks, there are sensory cues that may affect certain parts of the brain, which cause a craving for more alcohol. During the research, people were given a very small amount of beer they were used to drinking. It was discovered that the subjects’ desire to drink was directly connected to their release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that works to control the brain’s reward and pleasure areas.

“This is the first human demonstration that a stimulus that is reliably associated with alcohol association — that flavor alone, without any significant amount of alcohol — is able to induce a dopamine response,” said study author David Kareken, a professor at Indiana University School of Medicine.

Kareken added, “This is really quite strong evidence that there are genetic factors that change the brain’s chemistry and may act as risk factors for dependence.”

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