A new study has shown that there may be a way to predict whether a person will engage in alcohol abuse or risky sexual behavior in the future. The research, conducted at Duke University, showed that brain scan can reveal future tendencies regarding alcohol and sex.
The research indicated that the relationship between the part of the brain that seeks reward and the part of the brain that is responsible for weighing the consequences of good and bad choices can lead to problematic drinking and behavior. A surprise to the researchers was that if a person had a low amount of activity in one of those areas and a high amount of activity in the other area they were not at a big risk for alcohol abuse. Those participants that had one area of the brain functioning at a higher level than the other were the ones that researchers found had more of a chance of abusing alcohol.
“By knowing the biology that predicts risk, we hope to eventually change the biology – or at least meet that biology with other forces to stem the risk,” explained Ahmad Hariri, lead author of the study and professor of psychology and neuroscience at Duke University.
While the research is still new and more information needs to be gathered regarding the way the brain communicates with itself, researchers are hopeful that they have discovered an area of behavioral health knowledge that could prevent more people from suffering from alcohol abuse. If things like this can be identified early on then, various forms of interventions and precautionary measures can be taken before a more serious problem develops.