Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Binge Jeans

Whether it was Gloria Vanderbilts back at Studio 54 in the 70s or a spankin' new pair of Sevens at Avenue (where Lindsay Lohan punched a fortune teller last weekend) don't we all have a favorite pair of party jeans? Turns out, the party gene goes way beyond our behinds ... right into our brains.

I suspected I had a party gene years ago. Though I had no idea modern science would prove me right by polling teenage boys.

As reported in the Ups and Downs post a few days ago, there's a real difference between the way certain people handle alcohol compared with others. And now the brainiacs at Kings College London have found the 'culprit gene' that's probably responsible for why some of us party our heads off when we start drinking and others just sip Kahlua with our grandmothers on Christmas Eve.

It's called the RASGRF-2 (couldn't scientists use a catchy-name department?) and was isolated after scanning the brains of 663 teenage boys. Subjects who had the R2D2 (sic) showed a heightened dopamine response in their noggins. Remember, if neurotransmitters had faces, dopamine would be a big smiley one :) because it's responsible for feelings of reward and well-being.

The boys were fourteen when the study was conducted and two years later - when the rascals had a chance to pilfer mom & dad's liquor cabinet - the ones who showed evidence of this gene were far more likely to be drinking alcohol and even binging.

For better or worse, it makes a lot of sense. As humans we tend to seek things out that make us happy (notwithstanding stupid relationships, crummy jobs and $1.99 all-you-can-eat E. coli buffets). If we've got the R2D2 gene, chances are we're going to have an increased positive response to alcohol ... which will cause us to drink more than sober sods with boring, I mean, normal brains. ;) Don't mind me. Just jealous.

The scientists are quick to point out this was a small study with only a certain control group and the theory needs more research. Totally agree! If you need middle-aged women with the party gene, I'm happy to help out in any way I can.

oh, btw ... drinks are free right?

Read the whole article here, compliments BBC News.