Indiana researcher to study long-term drinking test

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An Indiana University researcher has received a $1 million grant to study whether a blood test could be used to determine whether people have been drinking heavily in recent weeks.

IU School of Medicine professor Dr. Suthat Liangpunsakul says such a test is needed when a patient is being considered for a liver transplant, when alcohol consumption is a concern.

Liangpunsakul says patients almost always under-report their drinking to their physicians.

 The test would measure levels of certain phospholipids, molecules that function as components of cell membranes. A preliminary study found elevated levels of phospholipids in mice and humans who had consumed alcohol.

The grant came from the Department of Defense.

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