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, November 17, 2012

Acceptability and Effect of a Community-Based Alcohol Education Program in Rural Sri Lanka

To assess the effectiveness and acceptability of a brief community-based educational program on changing the drinking pattern of alcohol in a rural community. 

A longitudinal cohort study was carried out in two rural villages in Sri Lanka. One randomly selected village received a community education program that utilized street dramas, poster campaigns, leaflets and individual and group discussions. The control village had no intervention during this period. The Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test (AUDIT) was used to measure the drinking pattern before and at 6 and 24 months after the intervention in males over 18 years of age in both villages. The recall and the impact of various components of the intervention were assessed at 24 months post-intervention. 

The intervention was associated with the development of an active community action group in the village and a significant reduction in illicit alcohol outlets. The drama component of the intervention had the highest level of recall and preference. Comparing the control and intervention villages, there were no significant difference between baseline drinking patterns and the AUDIT. There was a significant reduction in the AUDIT scores in the intervention village compared with the control at 6 and 24 months (P < 0.0001). 

A community-based education program had high acceptance and produces a reduction in alcohol use that was sustained for 2 years.

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Supplementary Thiamine is Still Important in Alcohol Dependence

To assess the effect of mandatory thiamine enrichment of wheat flour on blood thiamine levels in an alcohol-dependent population.

Alcohol-dependent clients (n = 100) entering an inpatient service for the management of alcohol withdrawal had thiamine blood tests and diet interviews. Approximately half (n = 46) the alcohol-dependent participants reported taking vitamin supplements prior to admission. Standard treatment included thiamine supplementation in the form of an intramuscular injection and 100 mg tablets. If consent was gained, a second thiamine blood test was taken prior to discharge (n = 77). Control participants (n = 20) with no history of treatment for alcohol abuse had thiamine blood tests and diet interviews. 

Control participants consumed significantly larger amounts of thiamine in their diet compared with alcohol-dependent participants (P < 0.0001). Alcohol-dependent participants who reported no use of vitamin supplements had significantly lower (P < 0.05) blood thiamine levels compared with controls, whereas controls and those who reported using vitamin supplements had no significant difference. No significant correlation was found between thiamine blood levels and reported levels of alcohol consumption. 

Reduced blood levels of thiamine in people who are alcohol dependent, compared with those with no history of alcohol abuse, are likely to be because of the poor diet. Consumption of vitamin supplements appears to bring thiamine levels closer to those seen in control participants. Supplementation of dietary intake of thiamine in people who are alcohol dependent remains an important measure for the prevention of Wernicke–Korsakoff's syndrome in this population.                

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Statement by NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins on the future of substance use, abuse, and addiction-related research at NIH

Two years ago, the National Institutes of Health’s Scientific Management Review Board (SMRB) issued a report recommending that NIH move to establish a new institute focused on substance use, abuse, and addiction-related research to optimize NIH research in these areas. Another option strongly considered by the SMRB was the functional integration of existing research resources, rather than creation of a new institute.

After rigorous review and extensive consultation with stakeholders, I have concluded that it is more appropriate for NIH to pursue functional integration, rather than major structural reorganization, to advance substance use, abuse, and addiction-related research. To that end, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) will retain their institutional identities, while strengthening their ongoing efforts to work more closely with each other and with related research programs at other institutes and centers.  > > > >  Read More

Reduction in alcohol related harm among global WHO targets to improve health

WHO Member States have agreed on the first ever global monitoring framework to fight Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) during a meeting earlier this month (5-7 November) in Geneva.
The overall global voluntary target is to reduce by 2025 premature death and mortality due to NCDs by 25%.

NCDs, also known as chronic diseases, are of long duration and generally slow progression causing a considerable cost to the public expenditure. World Economic Forum and Harvard School of Public Health estimated that NCDs will cause economic output loss of US$ 47 trillion over the next two decades. NCDs kill more than 36 million people each year of which 14 million are under the age of 70 years old.

Alcohol is 1 of the main 4 key risk factors for developing NCDs. The European region suffers from highest deaths from NCDs and the highest overall alcohol consumption.  > > > >  Read More

Early life socioeconomic position and later alcohol use: birth cohort study

To investigate associations between socioeconomic position in early life and later alcohol use and problem use among male and female adolescents.

Birth cohort study.

South West England.

2711 girls and 2379 boys with one or more measures of alcohol use or problem use at age 15.

Exposure measures were highest parental social class, maternal education and household disposable income (all maternal self-report before school-age); outcome measures were heavy typical drinking, frequent drinking, regular binge drinking, alcohol related psychosocial problems and alcohol related behavioural problems.

Alcohol use and related problems were relatively common in adolescents and were not substantially different between girls and boys. However, boys were slightly more likely to report frequent drinking and girls were slightly more likely to drink heavily and to experience alcohol related psychosocial problems. Higher maternal education appeared protective in relation to alcohol related problems, particularly amongst boys. Higher household income was associated with greater risk of alcohol use and problem use, most apparently amongst girls.

Children from higher income households in England appear to be at greater risk of some types of adolescent alcohol problems and these risks appear different in girls compared to boys. Childhood social advantage may not generally be associated with healthier behaviour in adolescence.

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Alcohol News - 46/2012

Helsinki Times (Finland) - Alcohol sustains high homicide rates
Over 40,000 assaults and attempted homicides were reported to the Finnish police in 2011. The figures represent a 20 per cent increase from 2010 and, according to Helsingin Sanomat, and are chiefly explained by the criminalisation of domestic violence-related minor assaults and new police guidelines.
THL (Finland) - Adolescent smoking and alcohol use declined in 1995-2011, use of other substances on the rise
Finnish 16-year-olds drink less alcohol than their peers in the 1990’s, but the declining trend in binge drinking during 1995-2011 has stopped. The number of young people, who reported combining alcohol with drugs went down during 1995-2007, but has trended upward in 2011.
Stockholm University (Finland) - Even small amounts of alcohol increase cancer risk
Drinking a glass of wine a day is considered healthy, but new research shows that even small amounts of alcohol can increase the risk of cancer. In a study published in the British journal Carcinogenesis, researchers at Stockholm University, in a European collaboration project, have examined the damage to the genome that occurs when we drink alcohol, which, in turn, can lead to cancer.
Science Alerts (Denmark) - "No alcohol, no party": An explorative study of young Danish moderate drinkers
Danish youth has for years had the highest alcohol consumption in Europe, however recent surveys show that consumption levels have diminished slightly and that the age of first intoxication has been raised. To explore young moderate drinkers’ attitudes, values, and behaviour in relation to alcohol consumption.
The Age (Australia) - Alcohol abuse is crushing future generations
EVERY Australian should hang their head in shame on hearing how alcohol is permanently damaging Aboriginal children in remote communities. Generations of Aborigines have been soaked in alcohol abuse, leading to alarming rates of violence, neglect, chronic mental illness and premature deaths.
Los Angeles Times (USA) - "Pre-drinking" or "pre-funking" common among young alcohol users
They call it "pre-drinking," "pre-partying" or "pre-funking," and it usually involves chugging cheap alcoholic drinks before heading out to a bar, club or sporting event. - Impulsive College Women at Risk for Alcohol Problems
A negative element associated with gender equality is the observation that during the last three decades, young women have been drinking more.
Reuters (USA) - Liquor costs more at state-owned stores in U.S.: study
U.S. states that have a monopoly over their liquor sales seem to charge slightly more for alcohol than states without such control, the so-called "license states," according to a U.S. Study.
Medical Express - Genetic link between pancreatitis and alcohol consumption
A new study published online today in Nature Genetics reveals a genetic link between chronic pancreatitis and alcohol consumption. Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and more than 25 other health centers across the United States found a genetic variant on chromosome X near the claudin-2 gene (CLDN2) that predicts which men who are heavy drinkers are at high risk of developing chronic pancreatitis.
Sydney Morning Herald (Australia) - Group buying sites luring under-age drinkers, say experts
PUBLIC health experts have called for a crackdown on websites that promote ''ridiculously cheap'' alcohol, claiming they fuel Australia's drinking problem and appeal to under-age drinkers.
The Age - 'Alarming' alcohol abuse by African youths
A Victorian judge has questioned whether the cheap price of alcohol is contributing to an alarming trend of excessive drinking by youths of African descent.
Medical Express - Environmental factors can mitigate genetic risk for developing alcohol problems
Alcohol use during adolescence is harmful on multiple levels, including an increased risk for developing alcohol use disorders (AUDs) later in life. Recent research suggests that genetic influences are moderated by environmental factors.
The Moscow Times - Airlines Seeking Right to Seize Alcohol From Passengers
Russian carriers are lobbying the government to amend the Aviation Code to allow them to confiscate alcohol from passengers in an effort to stop alcohol-induced violence on flights.
Sydney Morning Herald (Australia) - Drink labels don't deter, study finds
ALCOHOL warning labels may increase awareness among adolescents about the dangers of drinking, but are unlikely to curb risky behaviour such as drink-driving and bingeing, Sydney researchers have found.

Global Actions, November 14, 2012

Key Recent Milestones:

· Rwanda: ICAP held a meeting with key industry stakeholders in Kigali on November 7, 2012 to finalize plans for setting up the first self-regulation industry association in Rwanda.

Global Actions in Focus: Noncommercial Alcohol Monograph

NCAcover.pngThe International Center for Alcohol Policies (ICAP) recently published “Producers, sellers, and drinkers: studies of noncommercial alcohol in nine countries.” The study draws together the results of research conducted from 2010 to 2012 as part of Global Actions’ Noncommercial Alcohol initiative.

The objective of the research was to measure the nature and extent of unrecorded alcohol production and consumption in nine low and middle-income countries: Belarus, Botswana, Brazil, China, India, Kenya, Mexico, Russia, and Sri Lanka. Each chapter is written by a local researcher presenting the context of drinking and culture, describing the study design and key findings, and discussing implications for policy and prevention.

Srilanka.bmpIn countries such as China, Botswana, and Kenya, traditional noncommercial beverages are legal within certain contexts and their production and sale may be regulated to some degree by local authorities. Russia and Belarus have national regulations governing the sale and production of noncommercial alcohol.

The case of Belarus suggests that with proper enforcement, reductions in consumption of noncommercial alcohol can be achieved. In other countries, enforcement is either weak or obstructed by corruption, as is noted in the country study on Mexico. In Sri Lanka, researchers point to a series of steps to curb consumption of the illicit distilled beverage kasippu .

(Photo shows a secluded illicit alcohol distillery in a Sri Lanka jungle).

For more on ICAP publications, visit:

What’s Happening Next:

· Thailand: ICAP together with Thai Foundation for Responsible Drinking and the Population and Community Development Association will host a seminar on noncommercial alcohol study in Thailand on November 19th, 2012 in Bangkok. Participants are experts in public health and policy, research, excise, disaster prevention and mitigation, and drug dependence research. The seminar aims to draw conclusions from the survey for health policy and direction for future research. 

P-48 - A.A. Membership Survey

Sum­marizes the latest survey of membership in the U.S. and Canada: who A.A.s are (age, sex, occupation) and how they got to A.A.

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News Release - Dr. Kenneth Kendler to Deliver 17th Annual Mark Keller Honorary Lecture at NIH

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), part of the National Institutes of Health, announces that Kenneth Kendler, M.D. will deliver the 17th Annual Mark Keller Honorary Lecture. Kendler is a world-renowned expert on the genetics of psychiatric and substance abuse disorders. His presentation is called "The Genetic Epidemiology of Alcohol Use Disorders: A Current Perspective."

Kenneth Kendler, M.D., is the Director of the Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). He is also the Rachel Brown Banks Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry and Professor of Human Genetics and Director of the Psychiatric Genetics Program at VCU and co-Director of the VCU Alcohol Research Center. He is one of the most cited psychiatry researchers, and his work has transformed our understanding of how genes and the environment contribute to the development of alcohol use disorders and other psychiatric problems.

Thursday, November 15, 2012 1:30 p.m. ET

Lipsett Amphitheater, NIH Building 10, Bethesda, Md.
> > > >  Read More

Friday, November 16, 2012

Current Issue: September–October 2012

Interventions and Assessments

•Cutoffs for Unhealthy Alcohol Use Are Actually Lower than Those Often Suggested
•Alcohol Screening and Brief Intervention in General Practice: Can You Lead a Mule to Water?
•Is Low-Risk Drinking an Appropriate Treatment Outcome for Individuals with Alcohol Use Disorders?
•Naltrexone for Alcohol Dependence May Be Particularly Beneficial among People Who Smoke
•Topiramate Did Not Increase Abstinence from Methamphetamine but Might Reduce Use
• Voluntary Brief Intervention for Multiple Substances Is of Questionable Benefit in Young Adult Men
•Alcohol-Related Deaths in Scotland: Care for People with Dependence is Available, but High-Quality Care Is Lacking

Health Outcomes

•Light Drinking May Relate to an Increased Risk for Certain Cancers
•African-American Adolescents Are Less Likely to Sell or Use Illicit Drugs but More Likely to Be Arrested 


 •Pretreatment Alcohol Intake and Duration of Pretreatment Abstinence Do Not Impact HCV Treatment Outcomes
•Decreased Quality of Care for HIV-infected People Who Use Alcohol and Other Drugs
•Methadone Maintenance after Prison Release Reduces HIV Injection-Risk Behaviors but Not Sex-Risk Behaviors 

Ethical Conduct of Alcohol and Other Drug Research: Feature Article

  • Ethical Considerations in Research Using the Drug of Addiction as Treatment: What Can Researchers Learn from Heroin Prescription Studies?

Slide Presentations

  • Update on Alcohol, Other Drugs, and Health
  • Journal Club

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Thursday, November 15, 2012

NCHS Data Brfief - Calories Consumed From Alcoholic Beverages by U.S. Adults, 2007–2010

Key findings

Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2007–2010
  • The U.S. adult population consumes an average of almost 100 calories per day from alcoholic beverages.
  • Men consume more calories from alcoholic beverages than women.
  • Younger adults consume more calories from alcoholic beverages than older adults.
  • Men consume more beer than other types of alcohol.
  • Average calories consumed from alcoholic beverages do not differ by race and ethnicity.
Although the risks of excessive alcohol consumption in terms of injury (1) and chronic disease (2) are well known, less is known about the calories consumed from alcoholic beverages. As with calorically sweetened beverages, alcoholic beverages are a top contributor to caloric intake but provide few nutrients (2). Although calories consumed from calorically sweetened beverages have been previously examined (3), calories from alcoholic beverages have been neglected. This data brief examines the caloric contribution of alcoholic beverages among adults aged 20 and over during 2007–2010, using data from 24-hour dietary recall interviews.

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Press Release - Even moderate drinking in pregnancy can affect a child’s IQ

Relatively small levels of exposure to alcohol while in the womb can influence a child’s IQ, according to a new study, published today in PLOS ONE, by researchers from the Universities of Bristol and Oxford using Children of the 90s study (ALSPAC) data from over 4,000 mothers and their offspring.

Current advice to pregnant women about moderate alcohol consumption during pregnancy is contradictory, with some official guidelines recommending complete abstinence and others suggesting that moderate use is safe. Previous studies have produced conflicting and inconsistent evidence on the effects of moderate alcohol intake on a child’s IQ. This may be because it is difficult to separate the effects of moderate alcohol consumption from other lifestyle and social factors, such as smoking, diet, affluence, mother’s age and education.
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Fetal Alcohol Exposure and IQ at Age 8: Evidence from a Population-Based Birth-Cohort Study

Observational studies have generated conflicting evidence on the effects of moderate maternal alcohol consumption during pregnancy on offspring cognition mainly reflecting problems of confounding. Among mothers who drink during pregnancy fetal alcohol exposure is influenced not only by mother’s intake but also by genetic variants carried by both the mother and the fetus. Associations between children’s cognitive function and both maternal and child genotype at these loci can shed light on the effects of maternal alcohol consumption on offspring cognitive development.

We used a large population based study of women recruited during pregnancy to determine whether genetic variants in alcohol metabolising genes in this cohort of women and their children were related to the child’s cognitive score (measured by the Weschler Intelligence Scale) at age 8.

We found that four genetic variants in alcohol metabolising genes in 4167 children were strongly related to lower IQ at age 8, as was a risk allele score based on these 4 variants. This effect was only seen amongst the offspring of mothers who were moderate drinkers (1–6 units alcohol per week during pregnancy (per allele effect estimates were −1.80 (95% CI = −2.63 to −0.97) p = 0.00002, with no effect among children whose mothers abstained during pregnancy (0.16 (95%CI = −1.05 to 1.36) p = 0.80), p-value for interaction = 0.009). A further genetic variant associated with alcohol metabolism in mothers was associated with their child’s IQ, but again only among mothers who drank during pregnancy.

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Local government alcohol policy development: case studies in three New Zealand communities

Local alcohol policies can be effective in reducing alcohol-related harm. The aim of this study was to examine local government responses to alcohol-related problems and identify factors influencing their development and adoption of alcohol policy.

Case studies were used to examine local government responses to alcohol problems in three New Zealand communities: a rural town, a provincial city, and a metropolitan city. Newspaper reports, local government documents and key informant interviews were used to collect data which were analysed using two conceptual frameworks: Kingdon's Streams model and the Stakeholder model of policy development.

Key informant narratives were categorised according to the concepts of the Streams and Stakeholder models.

Kingdon's theoretical concepts associated with increased likelihood of policy change seemed to apply in the rural and metropolitan communities. The political environment in the provincial city, however, was not favourable to the adoption of alcohol restrictions. The Stakeholder model highlighted differences between the communities in terms of power over agenda-setting and conflict between politicians and bureaucrats over policy solutions to alcohol-related harm. These differences were reflected in the ratio of policies considered versus adopted in each location. Decisions on local alcohol policies ultimately lie with local politicians although the policies that can be adopted by local government are restricted by central government legislation.

The adoption of policies and strategies to reduce alcohol-related harm may be better facilitated by an agenda-setting process where no “gate-keepers” determine what gets onto the agenda, and community mobilisation efforts to create competitive local government elections around alcohol issues. Policy adoption would also be facilitated by more enabling central government legislation.

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The use of epidemiology in alcohol research

This paper presents examples to illustrate the utility and limitations in the use of epidemiology in alcohol research and discusses some promising new directions.

Review of literature, concentrating on epidemiological alcohol research with relevance to public health.

Epidemiology offers tools for assessment of causes and effects of alcohol consumption as well as the effects of efforts to prevent alcohol consumption and its consequences. Epidemiological studies have made significant contributions to alcohol research with respect to public health and public policy. Fixed-effects modelling, difference-in-differences estimation and integrated qualitative and epidemiological methods are promising but underused methods in epidemiological studies. Many epidemiological studies have limited transferability of knowledge to other cultures and jurisdictions.

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Monday, November 12, 2012

Alcohol intoxication in the context of major public holidays, sporting and social events: A time-series analysis in Melbourne, Australia, 2000-2009

To assess the relationship between ambulance attendances, emergency department (ED) presentations and hospital admissions for acute alcohol intoxication and the timing of public holidays, sporting and social events.

Time series analysis was used to explore trends in intoxication in the context of major events.

Population of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia between 2000 and 2009.

All patients attended by ambulance, presenting to hospital EDs, or admitted to hospital who were classified as acutely alcohol intoxicated.

Analysis of daily numbers of presentations for acute alcohol intoxication associated with major events were undertaken, including lead and lag effects. Analyses controlled for day of week and month of year to address temporal and seasonal variations.

Alcohol intoxication presentations were significantly elevated the day before all public holidays, with intoxication cases on the day of public holidays only higher on New Year's Day (ambulance 6.57, 95% confidence intervals (CI) 3.4- 9.74; ED 3.34, 95% CI 1.28-5.4) and ANZAC Day (ambulance 3.71, 95% CI 0.68-6.75). The Australian Football League (AFL) Grand Final (ED 2.37, 95% CI 0.55-4.19), Commonwealth Games (ED 2.45, 95% CI 0.6-4.3) and Melbourne Cup Day (ambulance 6.14, 95% CI 2.42-9.85) represented the sporting events with significant elevations in acute intoxication requiring medical attention. The last working day before Christmas was the only social event where a significant increase in acute intoxication occurred (ambulance 8.98, 95% CI 6.8-11.15). 

Acute alcohol intoxication cases requiring ambulance, emergency department and hospital inpatient treatment 
increase substantially on the day preceding public holidays and other major social events.

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The Mediating Role of Alcohol-Related Memory Associations on the Relation between Perceived Parental Drinking and the Onset of Adolescents’ Alcohol Use

The aim of the current study was to examine the mediating role of alcohol-related memory associations in the relation between perceived parental drinking and the onset of adolescents’ alcohol use. Gender and grade were also included in the analyses.

We tested a mediation model within a structural path modeling framework using longitudinal data (two waves).

The sample consisted of 608 Canadian adolescents (43% boys), who did not have any alcohol experiences at the first measurement. The adolescents were recruited from all grade seven to nine classes in a large school district in western Canada.

Alcohol-related memory associations were tested with the Word Association Test. We used adolescent self reports of alcohol use and parental drinking.

Results clearly showed a mediation effect of alcohol-related memory associations (Estimate =.023, 95% CI =.002 -.044). That is, parental drinking as perceived by the adolescent was positively related to alcohol-related memory associations, which in turn predicted adolescents’ alcohol use a year later. Gender (B = -.10, p <.05) and grade (B =.13, p <.001) were related to alcohol-related memory associations. That is, boys and adolescents of higher grades had more memory associations.

Children appear to form memory associations related to alcohol before they ever drink alcohol themselves, and these associations appear to mediate the link between their perceptions of their parents′ drinking and their own initial alcohol use.

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Green Tea Extract Co-administered with a Polymer Effectively Prevents Alcoholic Liver Damage by Prolonged Inhibition of Alcohol Absorption in Mice

Alcohol toxicity can induce multiple organ dysfunction, including the liver. Gallated catechins (GCs), the components of green tea extract (GTE), have been known to inhibit intestinal lipid absorption. This study was designed to investigate the inhibitory effect of GC on the absorption of the lipid-soluble ethanol in normal mice. In addition, the effectiveness of prolonging the GC-mediated effect was evaluated as a means of preventing alcoholic liver damage. 

GTE was administered orally immediately or 90 min before ethanol administration and the blood ethanol and acetaldehyde levels were measured. Binge ethanol administration (by gavage every 6 h for 24 h) was used to induce acute liver injury, and GTE was administered 90 min prior to every ethanol administration. 

When GTE, but not GC-decreased GTE, was administered immediately before ethanol intake, the blood ethanol and acetaldehyde levels were significantly lower than those in the control. On the other hand, GTE has no effect when GTE was administered 90 min before ethanol intake. When GTE was co-administered with polyethylene glycol (PEG) or poly-γ-glutamate (PGA) 90 min before ethanol intake, the lowering effect of GTE on the blood ethanol and acetaldehyde levels was maintained in contrast to the GTE-alone-treated group. After binge ethanol administration, liver weight decreased, and serum alanine aminotransferase and aspartate aminotransferase levels were elevated. Additionally, histopathological changes, such as macrovesicular steatosis and necrosis, were induced in the liver, together with reactive oxygen species generation. When GTE + PEG or GTE + PCGA, but not GTE alone, was administered 90 min before ethanol intake, acute liver injury was ameliorated.
These findings support the development of GTE + PEG or GTE + PGA as an inhibitor of intestinal alcohol absorption for the preventative treatment of acute alcohol toxicity.                 

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Polyphosphoinositide Metabolism and Golgi Complex Morphology in Hippocampal Neurons in Primary Culture is Altered by Chronic Ethanol Exposure

Ethanol affects not only the cytoskeletal organization and activity, but also intracellular trafficking in neurons in the primary culture. Polyphosphoinositide (PPIn) are essential regulators of many important cell functions, including those mentioned, cytoskeleton integrity and intracellular vesicle trafficking. Since information about the effect of chronic ethanol exposure on PPIn metabolism in neurons is scarce, this study analysed the effect of this treatment on three of these phospholipids. 

Phosphatidylinositol (PtdIns) levels as well as the activity and/or levels of enzymes involved in their metabolism were analysed in neurons chronically exposed to ethanol. The levels of phospholipases C and D, and phosphatidylethanol formation were also assessed. The consequence of the possible alterations in the levels of PtdIns on the Golgi complex (GC) was also analysed. 

We show that phosphatidylinositol (4,5)-bisphosphate and phosphatidylinositol (3,4,5)-trisphosphate levels, both involved in the control of intracellular trafficking and cytoskeleton organization, decrease in ethanol-exposed hippocampal neurons. In contrast, several kinases that participate in the metabolism of these phospholipids, and the level and/or activity of phospholipases C and D, increase in cells after ethanol exposure. Ethanol also promotes phosphatidylethanol formation in neurons, which can result in the suppression of phosphatidic acid synthesis and, therefore, in PPIn biosynthesis. This treatment also lowers the phosphatidylinositol 4-phosphate levels, the main PPIn in the GC, with alterations in their morphology and in the levels of some of the proteins involved in structure maintenance. 

The deregulation of the metabolism of PtdIns may underlie the ethanol-induced alterations on different neuronal processes, including intracellular trafficking and cytoskeletal integrity.

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Direct Central Nervous System Effect of Alcohol Alters Synthesis and Degradation of Skeletal Muscle Protein

Alcohol can directly impair protein synthesis in cultured myocytes as well as in in situ perfused skeletal muscle. However, alcohol in the general circulation diffuses rapidly into the central nervous system (CNS). Therefore, this study determined whether localized elevation of alcohol within the CNS is capable of decreasing muscle protein synthesis. 

Conscious unstrained male rats received a continuous intracerebroventricular (ICV) infusion of ethanol and skeletal muscle protein synthesis and degradation were assessed. 

ICV alcohol decreased protein synthesis in the gastrocnemius after 6 and 24 h, compared with the time-matched controls. The reduction was equivalent for both sarcoplasmic and myofibrillar proteins and was reversible. The inhibitory effect of alcohol was not prevented by the catalase inhibitor 3-amino-1,2,4-triazole and was mimicked by ICV-administered t-butanol. The alcohol-induced decrease in muscle protein synthesis was associated with a concomitant reduction in phosphorylation of 4E-binding protein and ribosomal S6 kinase-1, suggesting impaired mammalian target of rapamycin kinase activity. ICV alcohol also impaired the ability of leucine to stimulate protein synthesis. Conversely, ICV alcohol increased muscle pr
oteasome activity and muscle RING-finger protein-1 mRNA content. Altered muscle protein metabolism was not associated with changes in muscle mRNA content for tumor necrosis factor α, interleukin-6 or insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-I or circulating insulin or IGF-I.  

Selective elevation of alcohol within the CNS is capable of decreasing protein synthesis and increasing protein degradation in muscle in the absence of alcohol in the general circulation, thus revealing a previously unrecognized central neural mechanism, which may account for part of the inhibitory effect of ingested alcohol on muscle protein homeostasis.

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FASD News - 45/2012

Sen Magazine - Drinking it in
What are fetal alcohol spectrum disorders and how can educators help combat the potentially devastating effects they can have on a child’s life? Carolyn Blackburn explains all.
Sudbury Star - New program to help youth with FASD
A new kind of mentorship program is being developed in Greater Sudbury -- one that reaches out to a segment of the population that doesn't usually get much attention, the executive director of The Human League Association said.
Nanaimo Daily News (Canada) - Council decides to raise awareness of FASD
Nanaimo will craft a bylaw to raise awareness of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. The bylaw would call for the installation of signs on public property warning against the consequences of drinking while pregnant.
Vcoice of America (Cambodia) - Fetal Alcohol Syndrome a Risk for Cambodians
When a woman drinks alcohol during pregnancy she risks giving birth to a child with mental and physical defects called fetal alcohol syndrome, a US-based doctor told “Hello VOA” on Thursday.
Chicago Tribune (USA) - Nevada court mulls abortion for pregnant mentally disabled woman
A Nevada judge could decide whether a mentally disabled woman should be forced to have an abortion despite the wishes of her adoptive parents, who are also her legal guardians. William and Amy Bauer's adopted daughter is 32, although fetal alcohol syndrome left the woman with health problems and the mental capacity of a 6-year-old child, said Jason Guinasso, the Fernley, Nevada, couple's attorney.
Vancouver Sun (Canada) - Maternal drinking casts lifelong shadow
'All of a sudden she was gone. "Boom - no reaction. Her arms and legs started shaking. I called the nurse in. Within the next 10 minutes they were doing a spinal tap without any anesthetic, nothing.' Lydia Neufeld's 13-year-old foster daughter had slipped away like this seven or eight times before, but this was the first time her doctors had seen it. They had no explanation.
Kansas City Star - More and more babies are being born with addictions
The delivery was uncomplicated. But just a few hours after his birth, the tiny baby boy began vomiting and crying inconsolably.
Auckland (New Zealand) - Warning on babies and booze
Jackie Prichard has been told she should have known better than to drink during pregnancy but she says there's not enough information out there warning mums of the risks.
The Age (Australia) - 'Grog' hits indigenous babies
THE nation's first comprehensive study of the impact of excessive drinking on unborn Aboriginal children has revealed devastating rates of intellectual disability.

The Dollars and Sense of Determining FASD Prevalence: A Canadian Responsibility
Hear experts from across the country discuss what we know about the prevalence of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder in Canada.
NOFAS - Sam Mabie and his dad Tom on FASD
The National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (NOFAS) is the leading voice and resource of the Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) community.
NOFAS - Wesley C. Jones on FASD - Midwest Regional FAS Training Center
Fetal Alcohol Network NZ - Youth Social Media Campaign Launched
Alcohol Healthwatch, Well Women and Family Trust and The Rotary Club of Parnell launches the Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) Youth Social Media Campaign.
Babies + Booze: Simon Rowley – Paediatrician

Alcoholism - Effect of Predictive Cuing on Response Inhibition in Children with Heavy Prenatal Alcohol Exposure
Consistent with previous studies of response inhibition, the AE group demonstrated greater frontal and parietal activation when attempting to inhibit prepotent responses than the CON group, despite similar rates of commission errors.
NIH News - Heavy prenatal alcohol linked to childhood brain development problems
Heavy drinking during pregnancy disrupts proper brain development in children and adolescents years after they were exposed to alcohol in the womb, according to a study supported by the National Institutes of Health. The study is the first to track children over several years to examine how heavy exposure to alcohol in utero affects brain growth over time.
PubMed - Ethical considerations when communicating a diagnosis of a fetal alcohol spectrum disorder to a child
Maternal alcohol consumption during pregnancy may result in Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD), which is an umbrella term used to describe a range of conditions that are associated with significant neurodevelopmental impairments.
PLOS - Adequacy of Maternal Iron Status Protects against Behavioral, Neuroanatomical, and Growth Deficits in Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders
Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) are the leading non-genetic cause of neurodevelopmental disability in children. Although alcohol is clearly teratogenic, environmental factors such as gravidity and socioeconomic status significantly modify individual FASD risk despite equivalent alcohol intake.
BMJ Open - Consensus diagnostic criteria for fetal alcohol spectrum disorders in Australia: a
modified Delphi study
Participants indicated clear support for use of the UW diagnostic criteria for FAS in Australia. These findings should be used to develop guidelines to facilitate improved awareness of, and address identified gaps in the infrastructure for, FASD diagnosis in Australia.
MJA - Aboriginal women, alcohol and the road to fetal alcohol spectrum disorder
I am an Aboriginal woman, with traditional connections to the Bidjara people from central western Queensland and extensive experience in working with Aboriginal women who consume alcohol during pregnancy.
Alcoholism -A Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging Study of Spatial Working Memory in Children with Prenatal Alcohol Exposure: Contribution of Familial History of Alcohol Use Disorders
Heavy prenatal alcohol exposure leads to widespread cognitive deficits, including problems with spatial working memory (SWM). Neuroimaging studies report structural and functional abnormalities in fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD), but interpretations may be complicated by the co-occurrence of a family history of alcoholism.

Iltalehti (Finland) - Vauvan terveys päihdeäidin oikeuksien edelle
Raskaana olevan äidin oikeus juoda alkoholia ja käyttää muita päihteitä on Suomen lain mukaan vahvempi kuin lapsen oikeus syntyä terveenä.
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