Caring Currents

Giving up Moderate Drinking Could Cause Depression

Last updated: Jul 21, 2008

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If you or your parent has to give up alcohol for medical reasons, take note: New research suggests that stopping moderate drinking may lead to depression.

In a study recently published in Neuropsychopharmacology, mice that were allowed to drink for 28 days appeared depressed 14 days after the alcohol was taken away. The mice also showed decreased brain cell development in an area of the brain important for learning, memory, and mood regulation.

But don't reach for a wineglass yet: The researchers also found that giving the mice antidepressants during the 14 days of abstinence prevented depression and restored the brain's ability to make new cells.

The take-home message? When giving up alcohol, look out for signs of depression.

Image by Flickr user piddy77 used under the Creative Commons attribution license.