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Monday, July 30, 2012

A comparison of the central nervous system effects of alcohol at pseudo-steady state in Caucasian and expatriate Japanese healthy male volunteers

In general, Japanese and Caucasians differ in their response to alcohol. To investigate these differences the alcohol clamping method can be used. This strictly controlled infusion regimen provides a reliable tool to study contrasts in central nervous system (CNS) effects and/or alcohol disposition.

In this study, twelve Japanese and twelve Caucasian healthy volunteers received two concentrations of intravenous alcohol or placebo using the alcohol clamp. Infusion rates during the steady state phase were used to compare alcohol clearance between the subgroups. Central nervous system (CNS) effects were frequently measured throughout the clamp.

On average, significantly lower amounts of alcohol were needed to maintain similar stable concentrations in the Japanese group. However, these differences disappeared when values were corrected for lean body mass.

The most pronounced pharmacodynamic differences between the groups
were observed on body sway and on the visual analogue scale for subjective alcohol effects, mainly at the highest dose level.

The alcohol clamp seems a useful method to compare differences in alcohol metabolism between groups.

Some CNS effects of alcohol differed clearly between Japanese and Caucasians, but others did not, even though alcohol levels were stable and similar between the two groups.

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