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From the article:
The new study found that giving the drug to newborn mice 15 minutes after “binge” alcohol consumption eliminated the hyperactivity and sleep deficits seen when rodents exposed to alcohol became adults. Moreover, the researchers report, lithium chloride-treated mice were much less likely to show the 25 percent drop in memory and cognitive test scores seen in untreated mice given the same amount of alcohol.
“Our study showed that lithium chloride prevented many of the damaging neurological effects of alcohol abuse on the still-developing brain, especially the impact on the parts of the brain controlling sleep,” says co-senior study investigator Donald Wilson, PhD.
Promoting BDNF as one pathway to brain cell survival:
“Lithium chloride is known to block many pathways that lead to brain cell death, while promoting others that lead to survival, like brain-derived neurotrophic factor, or BDNF,” says Saito, a research assistant professor at NYU Langone. Further experiments are needed, she says, to determine if chemicals that stimulate BDNF production also blunt the effects of alcohol abuse in newborn mammals.
Note: increased BDNF seems to actually be a natural mechanism by which the brain responds to reduce damage of BDNF