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Thursday, January 15, 2009

The consequence of fetal ethanol exposure and adolescent odor re-exposure on the response to ethanol odor in adolescent and adult rats

An epidemiologic predictive relationship exists between fetal ethanol exposure and the likelihood for adolescent use. Further, an inverse relationship exists between the age of first experience and the probability of adult abuse. Whether and how the combined effects of prenatal and adolescent ethanol experiences contribute to this progressive pattern remains unknown. Fetal ethanol exposure directly changes the odor attributes of ethanol important for both ethanol odor preference behavior and ethanol flavor perception. These effects persist only to adolescence.

We tested whether adolescent ethanol odor re-exposure: (Experiment 1) augments the fetal effect on the adolescent behavioral response to ethanol odor; and/or (Experiment 2) perpetuates previously observed adolescent behavioral and neurophysiological responses into adulthood.

Experiment 1: Relative to fetal or adolescent exposure alone, adolescent re-exposure enhanced the behavioral response to ethanol odor in P37 animals. Compared to animals with no ethanol experience, rats receiving a single experience (fetal or adolescent) show an enhanced, yet equivalent, ethanol odor response. Fetal ethanol experience also increased olfactory-guided following of an intoxicated peer. Experiment 2: Combined exposure yielded persistence of the behavioral effects only in adult females. We found no evidence for persistence of neurophysiological effects in either sex.

Fetal ethanol exposure influences adolescent re-exposure, in part, by promoting interactions with intoxicated peers. Re-exposure subsequently enhances ethanol odor responsivity during this "at risk" age for emergent abuse patterns. While persistence of behavioral effects occurred in females, the level of re-exposure necessary to uniformly yield persistence in both sexes remains unknown.

Our results highlight an important relationship between fetal and adolescent experiences that appears essential to the progressive pattern of developing ethanol abuse.

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Booze Taxes Lower Drinking Rates

By Alan Mozes
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, Jan. 15 (HealthDay News) -- The more alcohol costs, the less people drink it.

That's the conclusion of a new analysis of data from more than 100 studies gauging the impact of higher booze pricing -- typically in the form of higher taxes -- on American drinking habits.
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Alcohol sale, advertising policy in pipeline

PIUS RUGONZIBWA in ArushaDaily News;
Thursday,January 15, 2009

TANZANIA is in a process to formulate policy that will administer sale, advertisements, promotions and general consumption of alcoholic beverages and products. The Director of Mental Health and Substance Abuse at the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, Dr Joseph Mbatia, told the 'Daily News' here on Wednesday that the country had no such policy and was now planning to involve stakeholders to see how it can be introduced and implemented.
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Monday, January 12, 2009

Potential Role of the Placenta in Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder
Pediatric Drugs, Volume 11, Number 1, 2009 , pp. 26-29(4)

Mediators of susceptibility to alcohol-related toxicity in the prenatal environment are relatively unknown. The placenta has been proposed as a potential source of variability in the fetal environment, primarily through its significant metabolic capabilities. Meconium is a toxicological matrix unique to the developing fetus that offers an opportunity to quantify fetal exposure to alcohol through the analysis of fatty acid ethyl esters (FAEE) [nonoxidative ethanol metabolites].

To explore the role of the placenta as a potential source of variability in mediating fetal alcohol exposure via meconium analysis of FAEE, by combining a clinical case report involving human dizygotic twins and a series of guinea pig littermates.

The dizygotic twin pair yielded positive meconium FAEE results (>2.00 nmoL/g) in the female twin (2.21 nmoL/g) and no detectable FAEE in the male twin. A total of 15 meconium samples were collected from 15 pups of five pregnant guinea pig litters. With the exception of one pair of littermates, meconium FAEE concentrations differed substantially within each litter (FAEE expressed in units of nmoL/g): litter 1 (0.996, 4.43, 1.36); litter 2 (5.17, 4.15, 0.00); litter 3 (5.16, 5.27); litter 4 (18.57, 8.26, 7.46); litter 5 (0.00, 4.32, 0.00, 1.27).

Identical maternal ethanol exposure levels produced differing levels of fetal exposure in a dizygotic human twin pair and a series of guinea pig littermates as evidenced through FAEE meconium analysis. These data indicate that the placenta may have a previously unappreciated role in mediating ethanol-induced fetal injury.

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