Protracted activation of the basal forebrain cholinergic neurons after binge ethanol exposure [abstract]
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Insomnia during alcohol withdrawal is a hallmark of alcohol dependency and a major cause of relapse in recovering alcoholics. The mechanism of insomnia in this patient population is poorly understood. Cholinergic neurons in the basal forebrain (BF) play an important role in promoting wakefulness. Recently, we have shown that acute ethanol/alcohol exposure inhibits these cholinergic neurons to promote sleep. Does chronic ethanol exposure lead to the persistent activation of the BF cholinergic neurons which may lead to insomnia?