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Alcohol use disorder or AUD diminishes men’s ability to process their emotions. This effect isn’t as significant in women.

Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine used MRIs to analyze brain activity in individuals with AUD. They found that the experiences and mechanisms of AUD are different for the two genders.

Specifically, the team found that brain activity in certain areas of the brain was weaker in men than women. These areas were associated with processing one’s emotions and moving past stressful events.

Men and women currently receive the same treatment for AUD. This study suggests the need for developing gender-specific treatment.


Sawyer, K., Maleki, N., & Urban, T. (2019, April 30). Alcoholism gender differences in brain responsivity to emotional stimuli. eLife. Retrieved from

Taylor Bennett

Taylor Bennett

Taylor Bennett is a staff writer at Thriveworks. She devotes herself to distributing important information about mental health and wellbeing, writing mental health news and self-improvement tips daily. Taylor received her bachelor’s degree in multimedia journalism, with minors in professional writing and leadership from Virginia Tech. She is a co-author of Leaving Depression Behind: An Interactive, Choose Your Path Book and has published content on Thought Catalog, Odyssey, and The Traveling Parent.

We wrote a "choose your own adventure" style book about depression. To help as many people as possible, we're selling it for what it costs to print ($6.80) on Check it out: Leaving Depression Behind: An Interactive, Choose Your Path Book

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