To support the free and open dissemination of research findings and information on alcoholism and alcohol-related problems. To encourage open access to peer-reviewed articles free for all to view.

For full versions of posted research articles readers are encouraged to email requests for "electronic reprints" (text file, PDF files, FAX copies) to the corresponding or lead author, who is highlighted in the posting.


Saturday, September 29, 2007

Author: Letting kids drink early reduces binging
September 28, 2007

In the age of "just say no," some people believe it is time for Americans to reconsider how they teach kids about alcohol. One psychologist says allowing supervised drinking at younger ages could reduce alcohol abuse.
  • Story Highlights
  • Author: Forbidding kids from drinking creates temptation
  • Instead, he says, parents should teach kids how to drink responsibly
  • "Preparing your child to drink at home lessens the likelihood" of binging, he says
  • Critic says giving kids permission to do potentially harmful things is "ridiculous"
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A hyperbolic decay of subjective probability of obtaining delayed rewards

Hyperbolic discounting of delayed and probabilistic outcomes has drawn attention in psychopharmacology and neuroeconomics. Sozou's evolutionary theory proposed that hyperbolic delay discounting may be totally attributable to aversion to a decrease in subjective probability of obtaining delayed rewards (SP) which follows a hyperbolic decay function.

We examined the fitness of hyperbolic and exponential functions to the assessed SP, and relations between the SP, and delay/probability discounting, and subjective-probability discounting for delayed rewards.

The results demonstrated (a) SP decayed hyperbolically as delay increases, (b) a decay of SP was associated with delay discounting, and (c) subjective-probability discounting did not significantly correlate with delay discounting.

Our results demonstrated (i) hyperbolic decay of SP is related to delay discounting, and (ii) delay discounting is, however, not attributable to precautious foresight in intertemporal choice. Further, a novel parameter of pure time preference is proposed

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Friday, September 28, 2007

Call for proposals: Research on the transmission of drinking cultures

Project summary: proposals are sought for research on how drinking cultures are transmitted from one group to another.

Deadline: 2pm on Tuesday 6 November 2007
JRF Committee: Alcohol Research Committee
Timescale: 18 months
Budget: £200,000
Key contacts: Charlie Lloyd (Principal Research Manager),
Christine Appleton,, 01904 615911

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Thursday, September 27, 2007

Social and economic control of alcohol in the USA today (book)

Carole L. Jurkiewicz, ed., Social and economic control of alcohol: the 21st amendment in the 21st century (Boca Raton: Taylor & Francis, forthcoming 2008).

Alcohol and Drugs History Society

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Help at hand for youngsters affected by alcohol

  • Published Date: 25 September 2007
  • Location: Isle of Man

HELP is at hand for youngsters concerned about their own or a parent's drinking with the launch of a new service.

'Alcohol issues affect everyone from the young to the old,' Alcohol Advisory Service director Thea Ozenturk told those gathered at the launch of AAS 12-21.
. . . . . . .

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Neuroadaptations in Human Chronic Alcoholics:
Dysregulation of the NF-κB System
PLoS ONE 2(9): e930.

Here we investigated whether transcription factors of Nuclear Factor-kappaB (NF-κB) family, controlling neuronal plasticity and neurodegeneration, are involved in these adaptations in human chronic alcoholics.

We suggest that cycles of alcohol intoxication/withdrawal, which may initially activate NF-κB, when repeated over years downregulate RELA expression and NF-κB and p50 homodimer DNA-binding. Downregulation of the dominant p50 homodimer, a potent inhibitor of gene transcription apparently resulted in derepression of κB regulated genes.

Alterations in expression of p50 homodimer/NF-κB regulated genes may contribute to neuroplastic adaptation underlying alcoholism.

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Hazardous Drinking Among Adults With Diabetes and Related Eye Disease or Visual Problems: A Population-Based Cross-Sectional Survey
Ophthalmic Epidemiology, Volume 14, Issue 1 January 2007 , pages 45 - 49

To estimate the prevalence of problem drinking and related risk behaviors among adults with diabetes and eye disease in the United States.

Binge drinking occurs in 4%-5% of adults with diabetes and eye disease. Driving after drinking and unlocked gun ownership, while uncommon, also occur among such individuals, who are apt to be at extraordinarily high risk for injury and other alcohol-related complications.

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Press release - Wine, women and … spirits, beer and breast cancer risk

27 Sep 2007

Barcelona, Spain: One of the largest individual studies of the effects of alcohol on the risk of breast cancer has concluded that it makes no difference whether a woman drinks wine, beer or spirits (liquor) – it is the alcohol itself (ethyl alcohol) and the quantity consumed that is likely to trigger the onset of cancer. The increased breast cancer risk from drinking three or more alcoholic drinks a day is similar to the increased breast cancer risk from smoking a packet of cigarettes or more a day.
. . . . . . .

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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

GABAergic modulation of binge-like ethanol intake in C57BL/6J mice
Biochemistry and Behavior Volume 88, Issue 1, November 2007, Pages 105-113

GABA receptor systems have long been implicated in alcoholism, and GABAergic drugs have demonstrated efficacy in altering alcohol intake in some rodent models.

The present study was designed to assess the effects of baclofen, muscimol, and gaboxadol (THIP) in a variation on a new mouse model of binge-like ethanol intake.

Baclofen dose-dependently increased binge-like ethanol intake, while both muscimol and THIP reduced ethanol intake. Subsequent studies testing the effect of baclofen, muscimol and THIP on water intake using the same procedure revealed that whereas baclofen had no significant effect, muscimol and THIP both reduced the measure.

These results add to the growing literature suggesting a role for GABA receptor systems in the modulation of ethanol intake. However, whereas the role of GABAB receptor systems seems selective in the modulation of binge-like ethanol intake, the role for GABAA receptor systems appears to also extend to general fluid intake.

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Paradoxical Facilitatory Effect of Low-Dose Alcohol Consumption on Memory Mediated by NMDA Receptors
The Journal of Neuroscience, September 26, 2007, 27(39):10456-10467;

We hypothesized that chronic moderate alcohol intake leads to improved memory via adaptive responses in the expression of NMDA receptors and downstream signaling.

We found that moderate ethanol intake improved memory, increased NR1 expression, and changed some aspects of neurotrophin signaling. NR1 knock-down prevented ethanol's facilitatory effects, whereas hippocampal NR1 overexpression mimicked the effect of chronic low-dose ethanol intake on memory.

In contrast, high-dose ethanol reduced neurogenesis, inhibited NR2B expression, and impaired visual memory.

In conclusion, adaptive changes in hippocampal NMDA receptor expression may contribute to the positive effects of ethanol on cognition

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Intra-median raphe nucleus (MRN) infusions of muscimol, a GABA-A receptor agonist, reinstate alcohol seeking in rats: role of impulsivity and reward
Psychopharmacology Online First 22 September 2007

We previously found that the inhibition of median raphe nucleus (MRN) 5-HT transmission by local injections of a 5-HT1A agonist 8-OH-DPAT or corticotrophin-releasing factor (CRF) mimic the effect of foot shock stress to reinstate alcohol seeking.

In this study, we further explored the role of the MRN by examining the effect of inhibition of MRN neurons, by injecting the GABA-A receptor agonist muscimol, on the reinstatement of alcohol seeking.

MRN muscimol injections strongly reinstated alcohol seeking and this effect was not reversed by the depletion of 5-HT with 5,7-DHT. MRN muscimol injections did not induce a CPP, but did significantly impair multiple aspects of performance on the 5-CSRTT, including a marked increase in premature, or impulsive, responding.

Together with our previous findings, these results suggest that the inhibition of MRN projection neurons provokes alcohol seeking. Results from the 5-CSRTT suggest that increased impulsivity may contribute to these effects.

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The neuropeptide Y Y1 receptor subtype is necessary for the
anxiolytic-like effects of neuropeptide Y, but not the antidepressant-like effects of fluoxetine, in mice

Psychopharmacology Online Early 22 September 2007

Neuropeptide Y (NPY) is implicated in the pathophysiology of affective illness. Multiple receptor subtypes (Y1R, Y2R, and Y5R) have been suggested to contribute to NPY’s effects on rodent anxiety and depression-related behaviors.

These data demonstrate that Y1R is necessary for the anxiolytic-like effects of icv NPY, but not for the antidepressant-like or neurogenesis-inducing effects of fluoxetine. The present study supports targeting Y1R as a novel therapeutic target for anxiety disorders.

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Managing drug and alcohol misuse at work

Alcohol Policy UK reports that a new survey by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) exposes employers for failing to support employees with substance dependency problems. Just 38 per cent pay enough attention to the problem by co-ordinating rehabilitation support to help individuals with drug or alcohol problems return to work. The findings also show that four out of ten employers believe alcohol misuse is a significant cause of employee absence and lost productivity. One third says that drug misuse has a similarly negative effect in the workplace.

Reports the findings from CIPD survey, with data on:
  • policies and procedures
  • testing
  • managing and supporting employees with drug and/or alcohol problems
  • recruitment of individuals with previous drug and/or alcohol problems
  • disciplinary action and drug and alcohol misuse at work
  • rehabilitation of employees with drug or alcohol problems.

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Analysis of behavior using genetical genomics in mice as a model: from alcohol preferences to gene expression differences
Genome 50(10): 877–897 (2007)

Most familial behavioral phenotypes result from the complex interaction of multiple genes. Studies of such phenotypes involving human subjects are often inconclusive owing to complexity of causation and experimental limitations.

Studies of animal models argue for the use of established genetic strains as a powerful tool for genetic dissection of behavioral disorders and have led to the identification of rare genes and genetic mechanisms implicated in such phenotypes.

Our results demonstrate that different strains show expression differences for a number of genes in the brain, and that closely related strains have similar patterns of gene expression as compared with distantly related strains. In addition, among the 24 000 genes and ESTs on the microarray, 77 showed at least a 1.5-fold increase in the brains of C57BL/6J mice as compared with those of DBA/2J mice. These genes fall into such functional categories as gene regulation, metabolism, cell signaling, neurotransmitter transport, and DNA/RNA binding.

The importance of these findings as a novel genetic resource and their use and application in the genetic analysis of complex behavioral phenotypes, susceptibilities, and responses to drugs and chemicals are discussed.

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Alcohol drinking cessation and its effect on esophageal and head and neck cancers: A pooled analysis
International Journal of Cancer Volume 121, Issue 5 , Pages 1132 - 1137

The objective of this study was to conduct a pooled analysis to evaluate the strength of the evidence available in the epidemiological literature on the association between alcohol drinking cessation and reduction in esophageal and head and neck cancer risks.

The risk of esophageal cancer significantly increased within the first 2 yr following cessation then decreased rapidly and significantly after longer periods of abstention . An elevated risk, although not strong as for esophageal cancer, was observed for head and neck cancer up to 10 yr of quitting drinking. Such risk only reduced after 10 yr of cessation .

After more than 20 yr of alcohol cessation, the risks for both cancers were no longer significantly different from the risk of never drinkers.

Our findings demonstrate an important role of alcohol cessation on esophageal and head and neck carcinogenesis.

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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

A Role for Spiritual Change in the Benefits of 12-Step Involvement
Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research 31 (s3), 76s–79s.

The present study provides further evidence that spiritual change contributes to recovery, at least within the context of 12-step involvement. The study also deepens our understanding of how 12-step involvement works.

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Ethanol alters acetylcholinesterase activity and gene expression in zebrafish brain
Toxicology Letters Article in Press, 19 August 2007

Here we investigated the in vitro and in vivo effects promoted by ethanol and its metabolites on zebrafish brain acetylcholinesterase (AChE).

There was a significant increase of AChE (33%) activity after acute 1% ethanol exposure. However, ethanol in vitro did not alter AChE activity.

Acetaldehyde, the first metabolite of alcohol metabolism, promoted a dose-dependent decrease (15%, 27.5% and 46.5%) at 0.25%, 0.5% and 1%, respectively. Acetate, a product of acetaldehyde degradation, did not change AChE activity.

Furthermore, the acute ethanol exposure was able to inhibit AChE transcripts at 0.5% and 1%.

These findings suggest that the alterations on zebrafish AChE could reveal molecular mechanisms related to cholinergic signaling in alcoholism.

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Relationship of abdominal obesity with alcohol consumption at population scale
European Journal of Nutrition, Online First, 21 September 2007

Alcohol consumption in elevated amounts was associated with risk of abdominal obesity in men, independent of energy underreporting.

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Adapting a Cognitive Behavioral Program in Treating Alcohol Dependence in South Korea
Perspectives In Psychiatric Care 43 (4), 183–192.

This paper aims to evaluate the effects of the traditional Korean moral behavioral-cognitive approach treatment for promoting insight in patients with alcohol dependence.

There was statistically significant promotion of insight, especially in control/dependence insight, after treatment.

The therapeutic intervention, considering the sociocultural factors, could be more effective in promoting insight in clients with alcohol dependence.

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Disaggregating the Distal, Proximal, and Time-Varying Effects of Parent Alcoholism on Children’s Internalizing Symptoms
Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, Online First 24 September 2007

Using a mixed modeling approach, we tested whether children showed elevated mother- and child-reported internalizing symptoms (a) at the same time that parents showed alcohol-related consequences (time-varying effects), (b) if parents showed greater alcohol-related consequences during the study period (proximal effects), and (c) if parents had a lifetime diagnosis of alcoholism that predated the study period (distal effects).

No support for time-varying effects was found; proximal effects of mothers’ alcohol-related consequences on child-reported internalizing symptoms were found and distal effects of mother and father alcoholism predicted greater internalizing symptoms among children of alcoholic parents.

Implications for the time-embedded relations between parent alcoholism and children’s internalizing symptoms are discussed

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Monday, September 24, 2007

CGP7930: A Positive Allosteric Modulator of the GABAB Receptor
CNS Drug Reviews 13 (3), 308–316. Fall 2007

CGP7930 (3-(3',5'-Di-tert-butyl-4'-hydroxy)phenyl-2,2-dimethylpropanol) is a positive allosteric modulator of the metabotropic GABAB receptor. CGP7930 has been found to modulate the GABAB receptor in the open, or high affinity, state increasing agonist affinity for the receptor and signal transduction efficacy following agonist stimulation.

The GABAB heteromeric subunit B2, involved in signal transduction but not ligand binding, seems to be the site of action of CGP7930 and similar allosteric modulators. When administered alone in naïve animals, CGP7930 acts as an anxiolytic in rodents without other overt behavioral effects and has also been demonstrated to reduce self-administration of nicotine, cocaine, or alcohol in rodents, suggesting that "fine tuning" of the GABAB receptor by positive allosteric modulators may be able to regulate abuse of these drugs.

Baclofen, the GABAB agonist, is currently finding use in treating addiction and various other disorders, but this can result in off-target effects and tolerance. CGP7930 when co-administered with baclofen enhances its potency, which could in theory minimize deleterious effects.

Further study of CGP7930 is required, but this compound, and others like it, holds potential in a clinical setting.

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Tackling society's drug and alcohol crisis at its roots
The Scotsman Tue 25 Sep 2007


IF YOU have been in a city centre late on a Friday or Saturday, you won't have failed to notice the number of legless party-goers. If you have seen or taken part in the debauch, the fact that consumption of alcohol and illegal drugs is on the increase will come as no surprise. There is a creeping acceptance that bingeing on drink and drugs is just part of being Scottish, young and/or male. How can we change this deep-seated belief?

The Futures Unit of the Scottish Parliament has a remit to think further ahead than the electoral cycle and to get beyond party political boundaries. It is committed to understanding and severing the national obsession with drink and drugs and has set a challenge: how can Scotland reduce the damage to its population through alcohol and drugs by half by 2025?
. . . . . .

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News Release - HHS Provides $98 Million in Access to Recovery Grants

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Program Expands Client Choice in Substance Abuse Treatment Services

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services today announced $98 million in new Access to Recovery (ATR) grants to provide people seeking drug and alcohol treatment with vouchers allowing them a greater range of choice in selecting the services most appropriate for their needs. Of the $98 million, approximately $2 million will be used to fund an independent evaluation of the program.

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Program Structure and Counselor-Client Contact in Outpatient Substance Abuse Treatment
Health Services Research (OnlineEarly Articles). 10 September 2007

Clients received more counseling hours in programs that were "intensive," publicly owned, accredited, and had a lower proportion of recently hired counselors.

More case management hours were offered in "intensive," private-for-profit or publicly owned (versus private-nonprofit) programs, serving a lower proportion of dual-diagnosis clients, and providing more on-site supplemental services.

Smaller caseloads were found in programs that were accredited and had a smaller average client census and a lower proportion of criminal justice referred clients.

Organizational attributes are related to counselor–client contact and may have implications for staff turnover and service quality.

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Long-lasting tolerance to alcohol following a history of dependence
Addiction Biology (OnlineEarly Articles). 11 September 2007

Tolerance to alcohol effects is one of the defining features of clinical alcohol dependence. Here, we hypothesized that the post-dependent state may include tolerance to sedative-hypnotic alcohol actions. To address this question, we used a recently developed animal model in which repeated cycles of alcohol intoxication and withdrawal trigger long-lasting behavioral plasticity.

In conclusion, a history of alcohol dependence induces long-lasting hypnotic tolerance. This process may play an important role in maintaining the dependent state.

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Intake of Energy Drinks in Association With Alcoholic Beverages in a Cohort of Students of the School of Medicine of the University of Messina
Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research 31 (10), 1677–1680.

Our data indicate that association of Energy Drinks + alcohol is very popular among students. This behavior can be dangerous. In fact, the combination of ED + alcoholic drinks can reduce adversive symptoms of alcohol intoxication including the depressant effects. As consequence, users of ED + alcoholic beverages might not feel the signs of alcohol intoxication, thus increasing the probability of accidents and/or favoring the possibility of development of alcohol dependence.

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Brown's speech: full text part two

Monday September 24, 2007
Guardian Unlimited

" . . . . . Binge drinking and underage drinking that disrupt neighbourhoods are unacceptable.

To punish: let me tell the shops that repeatedly sell alcohol to those who are under age - we will take your licences away.

To prevent: councils should use new powers to ban alcohol in trouble spots and I call on the industry to do more to advertise the dangers of teenage drinking."

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Sunday, September 23, 2007

Mark Keller Honorary Lecture 2007

Event Details:

Mark Keller Honorary Lecture Series
NIH Campus, Lipsett Amphitheater
Clinical Center (Bldg. 10)
Bethesda, MD

10/30/2007 1:30 PM

Boris Tabakoff, Ph.D., Professor and Chairman, Department of Pharmacology, University of Colorado School of Medicine, has been selected to receive the 2007 Mark Keller Honorary Award and to deliver the lecture entitled "Why Mice, Rats and Some Humans Drink Alcohol: A Neurobiologic/Genomics Perspective."

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