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, May 7, 2011

Press Release - Momentum to tackle world’s leading cause of death

Today is World Health Day and the World Health Organization (WHO) and its partners use this opportunity to both cherish the advan­ces made in world health and to gather mo­mentum for tackling existing problems.
IOGT International strongly participates in the commemoration as Mr Sven-Olov Carlsson, President of IOGT International, points out: “IOGT International has for more than 160 years been part of the global efforts to promote development by improving public health. The­refore World Health Day is important to reflect what is left to do: still today we face major thre­ats to global health and positive societal deve­lopment. Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are one such key issue because they kill three out of five humans in the world.”  > > > >  Read More

Friday, May 6, 2011

National Conference on Addiction Disorders

National Conference on Addiction Disorders
September 17-21, 2011
Town & Country Hotel | San Diego, California

NCAD.11 will feature content that focuses on the following:
  • The prevention, intervention, treatment, and recovery support of addiction disorders
  • Counseling and clinical skill development
  • Addiction Studies Education
  • Multicultural issues faced in addiction treatment
  • Healthcare systems and technology trends and solutions that improve business operations and patient care
  • Professional development, business and workforce administration management and operations, including:
    • process improvement
    • performance-based contracting and accountability
    • career development
    • community-based services                                                      > > > >  Read More

Dopaminergic genes modulate response inhibition in alcohol abusing adults

Compulsion in alcohol use disorders (AUD) has been attributed to impairment in response inhibition. Because genes that regulate dopamine (DA) have been implicated not only for risk for AUD but also for impulsivity based on behavioral studies, we set out to examine the underlying neural mechanisms associated with these effects. 

We collected functional magnetic resonance imaging images on 53 heavy drinking but otherwise healthy adults while performing the Go/NoGo task. 

We predicted that genetic variants previously reported in the literature to be associated with substance abuse, specifically the DRD2 rs1799732 and DRD4 VNTR, will modulate neural processes underlying response inhibition. 

Our results showed differential neural response for the DRD4 VNTR during successful inhibition in the inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) (cluster-corrected P < 0.05, z = 1.9). 

Similarly, DRD2 rs1799732 groups were significantly different in the precuneus and cingulate gyrus during successful response inhibition (cluster-corrected P < 0.05, z = 1.9). 

These findings provide further evidence for the role of DAergic genes in modulating neural response in areas that underlie response inhibition and self-monitoring processes. 

Variants within these genes appear to influence processes related to impulsive behavior, which may increase one's risk for alcohol abuse and dependence.

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AKT Signaling Pathway in the Nucleus Accumbens Mediates Excessive Alcohol Drinking Behaviors

Neuroadaptations within the nucleus accumbens (NAc) have been implicated in molecular mechanisms underlying the development and/or maintenance of alcohol abuse disorders. We recently reported that the activation of mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) signaling pathway in the NAc of rodents, after exposure to alcohol, contributes to alcohol drinking behaviors. The kinase AKT is a main upstream activator of the mTORC1 pathway. We therefore hypothesized that the activation of AKT in the NAc in response to alcohol exposure plays an important role in mechanisms that underlie excessive alcohol consumption.

Western blot analysis was used to assess the phosphorylation levels of enzymes. Acute exposure of mice to alcohol was achieved by the administration of 2 g/kg alcohol intraperitoneally (IP). Two-bottle choice and operant self-administration procedures were used to assess drinking behaviors in rats.

We found that acute systematic administration of alcohol and recurring cycles of excessive voluntary consumption of alcohol and withdrawal result in the activation of AKT signaling in the NAc of rodents. We show that inhibition of AKT or its upstream activator, phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase (PI3K), within the NAc of rats attenuates binge drinking as well as alcohol but not sucrose operant self-administration.

Our results suggest that the activation of the AKT pathway in the NAc in response to alcohol exposure is an important contributor to the molecular mechanisms underlying alcohol-drinking behaviors. AKT signaling pathway inhibitors are therefore potential candidates for drug development for the treatment of alcohol use and abuse disorders.

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Alcohol use and mental distress as predictors of non-response in a general population health survey: the HUNT study

To investigate to what degree alcohol use and mental distress are associated with non-response in a population-based health study.
From 1995 to 1997, 91,488 persons were invited to take part in a health study at Nord-Trøndelag, Norway, and the response rate was 69.2%. Demographics were available for everyone. Survey answers from a previous survey were available for most of the participants and a majority of non-participants. In addition, the survey responses from spouses and children of the invitees were used to predict participation in the aforementioned study. Crude and adjusted ORs for a number of predictors, among these alcohol consumption and mental distress, are reported.
Both heavy drinkers (OR = 1.27) and abstainers (OR = 1.64) had a higher probability of dropping out in comparison to people who usually do not drink. High levels of mental distress (OR = 1.84) also predicted attrition.
Alcohol use and mental distress are moderately associated with non-response, though probably not a major cause, as controlling for other variables weakened the associations. Nevertheless, the moderate but clear underrepresentation at the crude level of people with high alcohol consumption, abstainers and people with poor mental health should be taken into consideration when interpreting results from health surveys.
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Alcohol Consumption as a Risk Factor for Esophageal Adenocarcinoma in North China

The incidence of esophageal adenocarcinoma has been rising in many countries, while esophageal squamous cell carcinoma has remained stable or even declined in the same populations over the identical periods. These differences in trends indicate that these cancer subtypes may have a different etiology, which may be caused by lifestyle factors such as alcohol consumption and cigarette smoking. 

Therefore, a matched case-control study to clarify the risk factors of alcohol and tobacco intake on the development of esophageal adenocarcinoma was collected in Hebei Province of China. The life expectancy of the study area was around 70 years old. In the present study, 98 patients younger than 65 years who were diagnosed with esophageal adenocarcinoma and had initial surgeries (cases) were matched with 294 healthy adults (controls) at a ratio of 1:3 according to sex and age. 

We found the proportions of drinkers and smokers among cases were 48.0% and 60.2%, respectively, versus 21.2% and 43.5% among controls. Univariate conditional logistic regression analyses revealed that the odds ratios (ORs) showed a nearly monotonic increase for the duration of alcohol consumption and duration of tobacco smoking. 

Multivariate conditional logistic regression analysis indicated that only alcohol consumption was a significant risk factor for esophageal adenocarcinoma. 

Additional analysis of the combination of amount and duration of alcohol consumption indicated that heavy drinkers (> 30 ml/day) had significantly higher ORs, irrespective of the duration of alcohol consumption. 

In conclusion, heavy alcohol consumption increases the risk for esophageal adenocarcinoma independent of the duration of such consumption.

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Common genetic influences on depression, alcohol, and substance use disorders in Mexican-American families†

Multiple genetic and environmental factors influence the risk for both major depression and alcohol/substance use disorders. In addition, there is evidence that these illnesses share genetic factors. 

Although, the heritability of these illnesses is well established, relatively few studies have focused on ethnic minority populations. 

Here, we document the prevalence, heritability, and genetic correlations between major depression and alcohol and drug disorders in a large, community-ascertained sample of Mexican-American families.

A total of 1,122 Mexican-American individuals from 71 extended pedigrees participated in the study. All subjects received in-person psychiatric interviews. Heritability, genetic, and environmental correlations were estimated using SOLAR. 

Thirty-five percent of the sample met criteria for DSM-IV lifetime major depression, 34% met lifetime criteria for alcohol use disorders, and 8% met criteria for lifetime drug use disorders. 

The heritability for major depression was estimated to be h2 = 0.393 (P = 3.7 × 10−6). Heritability estimates were higher for recurrent depression (h2 = 0.463, P = 4.0 × 10−6) and early onset depression (h2 = 0.485, P = 8.5 × 10−5). 

While the genetic correlation between major depression and alcohol use disorders was significant (ρg = 0.58, P = 7 × 10−3), the environmental correlation between these traits was not significant. 

Although, there is evidence for increased rates of depression and substance use in US-born individuals of Mexican ancestry, our findings indicate that genetic control over major depression and alcohol/substance use disorders in the Mexican-American population is similar to that reported in other populations.

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Extended Telephone-Based Continuing Care for Alcohol Dependence: 24 Month Outcomes and Subgroup Analyses

Determine whether 18 months of telephone continuing care improves 24 month outcomes for patients with alcohol dependence. Subgroup analyses were done to identify patients who would most benefit from continuing care.
Comparative effectiveness trial of continuing care that consisted of monitoring and feedback only (TM) or monitoring and feedback plus counseling (TMC). Patients were randomized to treatment as usual (TAU), TAU plus TM, or TAU plus TMC, and followed quarterly for 24 months.
Publicly funded intensive outpatient programs (IOP)
252 alcohol dependent patients (49% with current cocaine dependence) who completed 3 weeks of IOP.
Percent days drinking, any heavy drinking, and a composite good clinical outcome.
In the intent to treat sample, group differences in alcohol outcomes out to 18 months favoring TMC over TAU were no longer present in months 19-24. Approximately 50% of participants met criteria for Good Clinical Outcomes throughout treatment and follow-up with a non-significant trend for TMC to perform better than usual care. Overall significant effects favoring TMC and TM over TAU were seen for women; and TMC was also superior to TAU for participants with social support for drinking, low readiness to change, and prior alcohol treatments. Most of these effects were obtained on at least 2 of 3 outcomes. However, no effects remained significant at 24 months.
The benefits of an extended telephone-based continuing care programme to treat alcohol dependence did not persist after the end of the intervention. A post-hoc analysis suggested that women and individuals with social support for drinking, low readiness to change, or prior alcohol treatments may benefit from the intervention.

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Effects of a Motivational Interviewing Intervention to Decrease Prenatal Alcohol Use

This study determined the effectiveness of motivational interviewing (MI) to decrease prenatal alcohol use, while examining mechanisms of behavior change based on self-determination theory that may have evoked decreases in drinking behaviors.

In all, 67 pregnant women who reported previous-year alcohol use were randomly assigned to an MI intervention or comparison group, with 56 women completing all study procedures. Both groups were assessed at baseline and 4- to 6-week follow-up for alcohol use and mechanisms of behavior change (basic psychological needs satisfaction and autonomous motivation). Only the MI group received the intervention after baseline assessments.

Although MI was not found effective in decreasing prenatal drinking behaviors in this study, nonspecific factors were identified, such as treatment structures, participant motivation for improvement, and provider qualities, which may have influenced these results. 

More research is needed to determine theory-based specific and nonspecific factors that drive effective nursing interventions to decrease alcohol use during pregnancy. 

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Thursday, May 5, 2011

Substance Abuse Treatment Admissions Aged 12 to 14

In 2008, approximately 23,770 substance abuse treatment admissions were adolescents aged 12 to 14. 

The two most frequently reported primary substances of abuse among these admissions were marijuana (63.0 percent) and alcohol (20.8 percent). 

Nearly one half (45.5 percent) of admissions aged 12 to 14 reported multiple substances of abuse at admission, and almost one quarter (24.7 percent) had a psychiatric disorder in addition to their substance use problem. 

Nearly one fifth (17.3 percent) had been admitted to treatment at least once prior to their current admission. 

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Alcohol effects on simulated driving in frequent and infrequent binge drinkers

Compared with non-bingers, binge drinkers are more likely to drive while intoxicated. The extent to which binge frequency impacts confidence in driving and subsequent driving impairment is unknown. 

This study compared the effects of an experimenter-delivered alcohol binge on subjective impairment and simulated driving ability in female high-frequency and low-frequency bingers.
Female drinkers were assigned to high-frequency (n = 30) or low-frequency (n = 30) binge groups based on their Alcohol Use Questionnaire responses. At 30-min intervals within a 2-h period, participants received either a placebo drink (n = 15 per group) or a 0.2 g/kg dose of alcohol (n = 15 per group; cumulative dose 0.8 g/kg). Self-reported impairment, driving confidence, and simulated driving were then measured.
Self-reported confidence in driving was significantly lower after alcohol than after placebo in low-frequency but not high-frequency bingers. Self-reported impairment and collisions during simulated driving were significantly greater after alcohol than after placebo in both low-frequency and high-frequency bingers.
The impairing effects of a single alcohol binge on driving ability in women are not influenced by binge frequency. However, high binge frequency may be associated with a less cautious approach to post-binge driving.

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The effects of a modest dose of alcohol on executive functioning and prospective memory

Acute alcohol intoxication selectively impairs executive functioning and prospective memory (PM). Much previous researches in this area have used laboratory-based tasks that may not mimic functions that individuals with dysexecutive syndrome have problems with in their everyday life. 

The present study aimed to assess the effects of a modest dose of alcohol on executive functioning and PM using a virtual reality task and investigate the role of executive planning in PM performance.
Forty healthy participants were administered 0.4 g/kg alcohol or matched placebo in a double-blind design. Executive function and PM were assessed using the Jansari–Agnew–Akesson–Murphy (JAAM) task, requiring participants to play the role of an office worker.
Alcohol intoxication selectively impaired executive function and PM. The participants in the alcohol condition performed worse on the planning, prioritisation, creativity and adaptability executive subscales and also on the time-based and event-based PM tasks. However, alcohol did not impair the selection executive function task or the action-based PM task.
The results provide further support for the effects of alcohol on executive functioning and PM. In addition, the results suggest that such deficits may be present at relatively modest doses of alcohol and in the absence of a subjective feeling of intoxication.

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Expansion of Substance Use Disorder Treatment Within Reach Through Health Care Reform

National health care reform provides California with the best opportunity to date to significantly expand and improve the care for people requiring substance use disorder (SUD) treatment. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA2010) requires that all health plans include treatment for substance use disorders among their basic benefits. This act greatly expands coverage to people for whom treatment is unavailable. At the same time, the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA2008) assures these disorders are covered in the same way as all other medical and surgical benefits. Together, these landmark acts improve the availability and quality of care for people with SUD.
Californians with substance use disorders are grossly underserved. According to the 2007 state estimates from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 764,000 Californians needed but didn’t receive treatment for drug use and 2.3 million Californians needed but did not receive treatment for alcohol use.1 The Affordable Care Act breeches this disparity by expanding Medicaid eligibility to everyone, including childless adults, up to 133 percent of federal poverty level, and requires that all receive basic benefits that include SUD treatment. These benefits extend to poor and uninsured Californians – such as the homeless, ex-offenders, unemployed and others – who today have little access to effective SUD treatment. In California, 6 million individuals who were previously uninsured will receive basic medical benefits. The Act extends coverage through other means, including by mandating SUD treatment in private coverage plans and allowing parents to maintain children on their health plans until age 27, and also bans denial of coverage for any pre-existing con
dition. Many of these changes impacting SUD treatment do not go into effect until 2014.  > > > >  Read More

Toward DSM-V: Mapping the alcohol use disorder continuum in college students

The present study examined the dimensionality of DSM-IV Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) criteria using Item Response Theory (IRT) methods and tested the validity of the proposed DSM-V AUD guidelines in a sample of college students.

Participants were 396 college students who reported any alcohol use in the past 90 days and were aged 18 years or older. We conducted factor analyses to determine whether a one- or two-factor model provided a better fit to the AUD criteria. IRT analyses estimated item severity and discrimination parameters for each criterion. Multivariate analyses examined differences among the DSM-V diagnostic cut-off (AUD vs. No AUD) and severity qualifiers (no diagnosis, moderate, severe) across several validating measures of alcohol use.

A dominant single-factor model provided the best fit to the AUD criteria. IRT analyses indicated that abuse and dependence criteria were intermixed along the latent continuum. The “legal problems” criterion had the highest severity parameter and the tolerance criterion had the lowest severity parameter. The abuse criterion “social/interpersonal problems” and dependence criterion “activities to obtain alcohol” had the highest discrimination parameter estimates. Multivariate analysis indicated that the DSM-V cut-off point, and severity qualifier groups were distinguishable on several measures of alcohol consumption, drinking consequences, and drinking restraint.

Findings suggest that the AUD criteria reflect a latent variable that represents a primary disorder and provide support for the proposed DSM-V AUD criteria in a sample of college students. Continued research in other high-risk samples of college students is needed.

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Intensive referral to 12-step dual-focused mutual-help groups

This study implemented and evaluated procedures to help clinicians effectively refer dually diagnosed (substance use and psychiatric disorders) patients to dual-focused mutual-help groups (DFGs).

Using a cohort cyclical turnover design, individuals with dual diagnoses beginning a new outpatient mental health treatment episode (N = 287) entered a standard- or an intensive-referral condition. Participants provided self-reports of 12-step mutual-help (DFG and substance-focused group [SFG]) attendance and involvement and substance use and psychiatric symptoms at baseline and six-month follow-up. The intensive referral intervention focused on encouraging patients to attend DFG meetings.

Compared to patients in the standard condition, those in the intensive referral intervention were more likely to attend and be involved in DFGs and SFGs, and had less drug use and better psychiatric outcomes at follow-up. 

Attending more intensive-referral sessions was associated with more DFG and SFG meeting attendance. 

More need fulfillment in DFGs, and more readiness to participate in SFGs, were associated with better alcohol and psychiatric outcomes at six months. 

However, only 23% of patients in the intensive-referral group attended a DFG meeting during the six-month follow-up period.

The intensive referral intervention enhanced participation in both DFGs and SFGs and was associated with better six-month outcomes. The findings suggest that intensive referral to mutual-help groups focus on its key components (e.g., linking patients to 12-step volunteers) rather than type of group.

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Cognitive predictors of problem drinking and AUDIT scores among college students

Evidence from a number of substance abuse populations suggests that substance abuse is associated with a cluster of differences in cognitive processes. However, investigations of this kind in non-clinical samples are relatively few. 

The present study examined the ability of alcohol-attentional bias (an alcohol Stroop task), impulsive decision-making (a delay discounting task), and impaired inhibitory control (a GO–NOGO task) to: (a) discriminate problem from non-problem drinkers among a sample of college students; (b) predict scores on the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT; a measure of alcohol consumption, drinking behaviour, and alcohol-related problems) across all of the student drinkers; (c) predict AUDIT scores within the subgroups of problem and non-problem student drinkers.

In logistic regression controlling for gender and age, student drinkers with elevated alcohol-attentional bias and impulsive decision-making were over twice as likely to be a problem than a non-problem drinker. 

Multiple regression analysis of the entire sample revealed that all three cognitive measures were significant predictors of AUDIT scores after gender and age had been controlled; the cognitive variables together accounted for 48% of the variance. 

Moreover, subsequent multiple regressions revealed that impaired inhibitory control was the only significant predictor of AUDIT scores for the group of non-problem drinkers, and alcohol-attentional bias and impulsive decision-making were the only significant predictors of AUDIT scores for the group of problem drinkers. 

Finally, both impulsive decision-making and impaired inhibitory control were significantly correlated with alcohol-attentional
bias across the whole sample. Implications are discussed relating to the development of problematic drinking.

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Probability and predictors of transition from first use to dependence on nicotine, alcohol, cannabis, and cocaine: Results of the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC)

This study aims to estimate general and racial-ethnic specific cumulative probability of developing dependence among nicotine, alcohol, cannabis or cocaine users, and to identify predictors of transition to substance dependence.

Analyses were done for the subsample of lifetime nicotine (n = 15,918), alcohol (n = 28,907), cannabis (n = 7389) or cocaine (n = 2259) users who participated in the first and second wave of the National Epidemiological Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC). Discrete-time survival analyses were implemented to estimate the cumulative probability of transitioning from use to dependence and to identify predictors of transition to dependence.

The cumulative probability estimate of transition to dependence was 67.5% for nicotine users, 22.7% for alcohol users, 20.9% for cocaine users, and 8.9% for cannabis users. Half of the cases of dependence on nicotine, alcohol, cannabis and cocaine were observed approximately 27, 13, 5 and 4 years after use onset, respectively. Significant racial-ethnic differences were observed in the probability of transition to dependence across the four substances. Several predictors of dependence were common across the four substances assessed.

Transition from use to dependence was highest for nicotine users, followed by cocaine, alcohol and cannabis users. Transition to cannabis or cocaine dependence occurred faster than transition to nicotine or alcohol dependence. The existence of common predictors of transition dependence across substances suggests that shared mechanisms are involved. The increased risk of transition to dependence among individuals from minorities or those with psychiatric or dependence comorbidity highlights the importance of promoting outreach and treatment of these populations.

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Press Release - U.S. Colleges and Universities Join Forces to Address High-Risk Drinking

Colleges and universities from across the country are joining forces to address high-risk drinking on American campuses. This unprecedented group initiative—the Learning Collaborative on High-Risk Drinking—will use comprehensive evaluation and measurement techniques to identify and implement the most effective ways to confront this persistent problem and lessen the harm it causes.   > > > >  Read More

Press Release - One more step towards reaching Millennium Development Goals

The First Global Ministerial Conference on Healthy Lifestyles and Non-Communicable Disease (NCDs) Control was held in Moscow in the end of April. On this global platform India and the world community achieved a big success for the future fight against NCDs. It is thanks to the strong efforts of the Indian delegation that from now on Mental Disorders are included in the list of NCDs .

“The members of IOGT International and surely millions of affected people and their families all over the world congratulate the WHO for this resolution and express our special thanks to the stern efforts of the Indian delegation. NCDs are a major threat to global health and societal development, killing three out of five humans in the world,” says Mr. Sven-Olov Carlsson, President of IOGT International. “We need as comprehensive a strategy as possible to tackle this problem and the Indian efforts truly contributed to this.”
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Ethanol modulation of gene networks: Implications for alcoholism

Alcoholism is a complex disease caused by a confluence of environmental and genetic factors influencing multiple brain pathways to produce a variety of behavioral sequelae, including addiction. 

Genetic factors contribute to over 50% of the risk for alcoholism and recent evidence points to a large number of genes with small effect sizes as the likely molecular basis for this disease. 

Recent progress in genomics (microarrays or RNA-Seq) and genetics has led to the identification of a large number of potential candidate genes influencing ethanol behaviors or alcoholism itself. 

To organize this complex information, investigators have begun to focus on the contribution of gene networks, rather than individual genes, for various ethanol-induced behaviors in animal models or behavioral endophenotypes comprising alcoholism. 

This chapter reviews some of the methods used for constructing gene networks from genomic data and some of the recent progress made in applying such approaches to the study of the neurobiology of ethanol. 

We show that rapid technology development in gathering genomic data, together with sophisticated experimental design and a growing collection of sophisticated tools are producing novel insights for understanding the molecular basis of alcoholism and that such approaches promise new opportunities for therapeutic development.

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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

A Quantitative-Trait Genome-Wide Association Study of Alcoholism Risk in the Community: Findings and Implications

Given moderately strong genetic contributions to variation in alcoholism and heaviness of drinking (50% to 60% heritability) with high correlation of genetic influences, we have conducted a quantitative trait genome-wide association study (GWAS) for phenotypes related to alcohol use and dependence.
Diagnostic interview and blood/buccal samples were obtained from sibships ascertained through the Australian Twin Registry. Genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) genotyping was performed with 8754 individuals (2062 alcohol-dependent cases) selected for informativeness for alcohol use disorder and associated quantitative traits. Family-based association tests were performed for alcohol dependence, dependence factor score, and heaviness of drinking factor score, with confirmatory case-population control comparisons using an unassessed population control series of 3393 Australians with genome-wide SNP data.
No findings reached genome-wide significance (p = 8.4 × 10−8 for this study), with lowest p value for primary phenotypes of 1.2 × 10−7. Convergent findings for quantitative consumption and diagnostic and quantitative dependence measures suggest possible roles for a transmembrane protein gene (TMEM108) and for ANKS1A. The major finding, however, was small effect sizes estimated for individual SNPs, suggesting that hundreds of genetic variants make modest contributions (1/4% of variance or less) to alcohol dependence risk.
We conclude that 1) meta-analyses of consumption data may contribute usefully to gene discovery; 2) translation of human alcoholism GWAS results to drug discovery or clinically useful prediction of risk will be challenging; and 3) through accumulation across studies, GWAS data may become valuable for improved genetic risk differentiation in research in biological psychiatry (e.g., prospective high-risk or resilience studies).

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The AVPR1A Gene and Substance Use Disorders: Association, Replication, and Functional Evidence

The liability to addiction has been shown to be highly genetically correlated across drug classes, suggesting nondrug-specific mechanisms.

In 757 subjects, we performed association analysis between 1536 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 106 candidate genes and a drug use disorder diagnosis (DUD).

Associations (p ≤ .0008) were detected with three SNPs in the arginine vasopressin 1A receptor gene, AVPR1A, with a gene-wise p value of 3 × 10−5. Bioinformatic evidence points to a role for rs11174811 (microRNA binding site disruption) in AVPR1A function. Based on literature implicating AVPR1A in social bonding, we tested spousal as a mediator of the association of rs11174811 with the DUD. Spousal satisfaction was significantly associated with DUD in males (p < .0001). The functional AVPR1A SNP, rs11174811, was associated with spousal satisfaction in males (p = .007). Spousal satisfaction was a significant mediator of the relationship between rs11174811 and DUD. We also present replication of the association in males between rs11174811 and substance use in one clinically ascertained (n = 1399) and one epidemiologic (n = 2231). The direction of the association is consistent across the clinically-ascertained samples but reversed in the epidemiologic sample. Lastly, we found a significant impact of rs11174811 genotype on AVPR1A expression in a postmortem brain sample.

The findings of this study call for expansion of research into the role of the arginine vasopressin and other neuropeptide system variation in DUD liability.

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Parenting and Trajectories of Children's Maladaptive Behaviors: A 12-Year Prospective Community Study

This study investigated how parenting accounted for interindividual differences in developmental trajectories of different child behaviors across childhood and adolescence.

In a cohort sequential community sample of 1,049 children, latent class growth analysis was applied to three parent-reported dimensions (monitoring, positive parenting, inconsistent discipline) across 12 annual assessments (ages 6-18). 

Four longitudinal parenting styles (authoritative, authoritarian, indulgent, uninvolved) were differentiated on the basis of levels and rates of change in the constituent parenting dimensions. 

Multigroup analyses demonstrated that these parenting styles were differentially related to changes in parent- and child-reported measures of children's alcohol and cigarette use, antisocial behavior, and internalizing symptoms, with the authoritative parenting class being related to the most optimal long-term development.


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Millions of NCD deaths can be prevented

In 20081, 36.1 million people died from conditions such as heart disease, strokes, chronic lung diseases, cancers and diabetes. Nearly 80% of these deaths occurred in low- and middle-income countries. The Global Status Report on Noncommunicable Diseases 2010 is the first report on the worldwide epidemic of cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes and chronic respiratory diseases, along with their risk factors and determinants.

"The rise of chronic noncommunicable diseases presents an enormous challenge," says WHO Director-General Dr Margaret Chan, who launched the report during the WHO Global Forum on addressing the challenge of noncommunicable diseases, being held today in Moscow, the Russian Federation. > > > >  Read More