Mode of action

Although the toxic effects of ethanol are well recognised, its mechanism of toxicity is not completely understood and has been subject to debate. Ethanol toxicity may be multi-factorial, affecting many processes but leading to one classic syndrome of intoxication. Ethanol depresses the CNS, possibly by dissolving in the lipid membrane of cells and disordering the lipid matrix (Goldstein, 1984). This membrane disordering effect is only measurable at concentrations of ethanol well above the pharmacological range, and these changes can be produced by minor differences in temperature that produce no signs of intoxication. Therefore, the membrane fluidity mechanism of ethanol intoxication is rivalled by the interaction of ethanol with various proteins such as neurotransmitter-gated ion channels (Goldstein, 1984; Lovinger et al., 1989; Osborn, 1994).

Owing to the similarity between the behavioural effects of ethanol and those of sedative hypnotic agents such as benzodiazepines and barbiturates, it has been suggested that ethanol acts by enhancing gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA)-nergic functions. Ethanol does augment GABA mediated synaptic transmission by interacting with GABAa receptors and their associated chloride channels (Charness et al., 1989).

Peripheral Neuropathy Natural Treatment Options

Peripheral Neuropathy Natural Treatment Options

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