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FGF21 shots lead to breakthrough with snapping out of drunkenness

Image Commercially Licensed from: Unsplash
Image Commercially Licensed from: Unsplash

FGF21Some individuals can drink a few bottles of beer without becoming drunk, while others are not so fortunate.

Those who are inebriated are usually urged to wait for sobriety to take effect.

New research has surfaced that may result in a faster sobering up than before.

The study

Researchers described injecting a natural hormone into inebriated mice in the March edition of 7 Cell Metabolism.

The mice promptly awoke as a result of the medication.

The mice were given an injection of FGF21, a hormone produced by the liver, according to the article.

The injection jolted the mice out of their intoxicated stupor twice as quickly as the control group.

According to molecular endocrinologist David Mangelsdorf, the findings might be game changers in the treatment of alcohol poisoning.

Alcohol poisoning 

Alcohol poisoning or overdose occurs when there is too much alcohol in the bloodstream near the brain.

Several life-sustaining systems are commonly impaired, including respiration, heart rate, and temperature regulation.

Some of the signs of an alcohol overdose are as follows:

  • Mental confusion
  • Difficulty staying conscious
  • Vomiting
  • Seizure
  • Trouble breathing
  • Slow heart rate
  • Clammy skin
  • Dulled response leading to no gag reflexes that prevent choking
  • Extremely low body temperature

Alcohol poisoning has the potential to cause lifelong brain damage or death.

The shot

The sobering impact of FGF21 is not the first time the hormone has been connected to alcohol use.

Scientists previously demonstrated that when alcohol enters the circulation, the liver generates the hormone.

Despite the fact that FGF21 does not break down alcohol, researchers discovered that the hormones serve an important role in protecting the liver from the negative effects of alcohol.

It also reduces the desire to continue drinking in mice and monkeys.

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The research

Based on the findings, David Mangelsdorf of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas and his colleagues were curious in how FGF21 impacts alcohol recovery.

Mangelsdorf and his colleagues gave mice enough alcohol to knock them unconscious, then measured how long it took them to start waking up.

Mice genetically modified to be unable to make FGF21 slept about an hour and a half longer than normal mice.

However, the control mice were given a second dose of FGF21 to help them wake up even faster (twice as rapidly) than the treated animals.

When put on a slowly rotating platform, inebriated mice treated with FGF31 were able to stay balanced longer than the others.


According to the researchers, FGF21 may help mice wake up by stimulating nerve cells in a brain location associated with alertness.

Mangeldorf believes that if the hormone works similarly in humans, it may be utilized to resuscitate those who have been poisoned by alcohol.

Given the chance of accidently choking, the skill may be quite useful.

Additionally, before treating patients who have been poisoned by alcohol, doctors frequently wait for them to awaken.

“There is no drug for treating alcohol poisoning,” said Mangelsdorf.

He pointed out that having a medicine to assist individuals wake up would be a big advancement in emergency department therapy.

He mentioned Narcan, a medicine that helps people regain consciousness after an opioid overdose.

Past attempts

Previously, researchers developed methods for calming down mice.

Regardless of its effectiveness, the regimen did not have the same impact on everyone.

FGF21, according to David Mangelsdorf, may be a different story.

He highlighted a previous research on the hormone in monkeys, which are more human-like than mice.

To treat alcohol toxicity, drugs produced from FGF21 would not need to be separated.

Researchers want to utilize the hormone to treat liver illness and alcohol addiction, according to Lorenzo Leggio, a physical scientist at the National Institutes of Health in Baltimore.

He believes that the study is an important step toward understanding FGF21 and finding novel treatments for alcoholism and other disorders.