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Term of the Day: Bed Nucleus of the Stria Terminalis (BNST)

The connection between the brain and binge drinking.


Located in the basal forebrain, the BNST is involved in the stress-response network whose activity has been linked to binge-drinking behaviors. And current research suggests that one important population of BNST neurons is more excitable in females than males, helping to account for gender differences in this risky drinking behavior. Women may have an inherently greater vulnerability to certain alcohol use disorders such as binge drinking, for reasons that lie deep within human biology.

See also: The Stress Response and Nutrition

Matthew Kadey, MS, RD

Matthew Kadey, MS, RD, is a James Beard Award–winning food journalist, dietitian and author of the cookbook Rocket Fuel: Power-Packed Food for Sport + Adventure (VeloPress 2016). He has written for dozens of magazines, including Runner’s World, Men’s Health, Shape, Men’s Fitness and Muscle and Fitness.

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