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, December 8, 2012

A public seminar with special relevance for policy makers and researchers

from the spheres of health, crime prevention and finance

Sponsored by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), the Centre for Addictions Research of BC (CARBC) and the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse (CCSA)

The seminar will provide an overview of latest results from an international research team investigating the impact of alcohol pricing policies on public health and economic outcomes, including:

the burden of disease attributable to alcohol in Canada

public opinion on alcohol policies

new provincial case studies linking price changes and health outcomes

an overview of alcohol pricing policies in Canada and

a Canadian Alcohol Policy Model
designed to predict the health and crime prevention implications of alternative provincial alcohol policies.

A panel of eminent stakeholders will reflect on the implications of these findings for alcohol policy and public health in Canada.   > > > >  Read More

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Obtaining the Optimal Dose in Alcohol Dependence Studies

In alcohol dependence studies, the treatment effect at different dose levels remains to be ascertained. Establishing this effect would aid us in identifying the best dose that has satisfactory efficacy while minimizing the rate of adverse events.

We advocate the use of dose-finding methodology that has been successfully implemented in the cancer and HIV settings to identify the optimal dose in a cost-effective way.

Specifically, we describe the continual reassessment method (CRM), an adaptive design proposed for cancer trials to reconcile the needs of dose-finding experiments with the ethical demands of established medical practice.

We are applying adaptive designs for identifying the optimal dose of medications for the first time in the context of pharmacotherapy research in alcoholism.

We provide an example of a topiramate trial as an illustration of how adaptive designs can be used to locate the optimal dose in alcohol treatment trials.

It is believed that the introduction of adaptive design methods will enable the development of medications for the treatment of alcohol dependence to be accelerated.

Read Full Article   (PDF)

The GAPC13 is being held October Monday 7th October - Wednesday 9th October. The theme of the conference is 'Alcohol, Civil Society and Public Health: from Local and National Action to Global Change'

There will be the opportunity to submit abstracts of papers to present either orally or in poster format. NGOs should start thinking about examples of their advocacy and mobilisation work that would be of interest to the global community  > > > >  Read More

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Acute ethanol responses in Drosophila are sexually dimorphic

In mammalian and insect models of ethanol intoxication, low doses of ethanol stimulate locomotor activity whereas high doses induce sedation. Sex differences in acute ethanol responses, which occur in humans, have not been characterized in Drosophila.

In this study, we find that male flies show increased ethanol hyperactivity and greater resistance to ethanol sedation compared with females. We show that the sex determination gene transformer (tra) acts in the developing nervous system, likely through regulation of fruitless (fru), to at least partially mediate the sexual dimorphism in ethanol sedation.

Although pharmacokinetic differences may contribute to the increased sedation sensitivity of females, neuronal tra expression regulates ethanol sedation independently of ethanol pharmacokinetics.

We also show that acute activation of fru-expressing neurons affects ethanol sedation, further supporting a role for fru in regulating this behavior.

Thus, we have characterized previously undescribed sex differences in behavioral responses to ethanol, and implicated fru in mediating a subset of these differences.

Read Full Abstract

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Monday, December 3, 2012

News Release - Research reveals why some teenagers more prone to binge drinking


New research helps explain why some teenagers are more prone to drinking alcohol than others.

The study, led by King’s College London’s Institute of Psychiatry (IoP) and published in Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) provides the most detailed understanding yet of the brain processes involved in teenage alcohol abuse. 
Alcohol and other addictive drugs activate the dopamine system in the brain which is responsible for feelings of pleasure and reward. Recent studies from King’s IoP found that the RASGRF2 gene is a risk gene for alcohol abuse, however, the exact mechanism involved in this process has, until now, remained unknown.  > > > >  Read More

High diversity and no significant selection signal of human ADH1B gene in Tibet.

ADH1B is one of the most studied human genes. Many polymorphic sites,one single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP), rs1229984, coding for the Arg48His substitution, have been associated with many serious diseases including alcoholism and cancers of the digestive system. The derived allele, ADH1B*48His, reaches high frequency only in East Asia and Southwest Asia, and is highly associated with agriculture. Micro-evolutionary study has defined seven haplogroups for ADH1B based on seven SNPs encompassing the gene. Three of those haplogroups, H5, H6, and H7, contain the ADH1B*48His allele. H5 occurs in Southwest Asia and the other two are found in East Asia. H7 is derived from H6 by the derived allele of rs3811801. The H7 haplotype has been shown to have undergone significant positive selection in Han Chinese, Hmong, Koreans, Japanese, Khazak, Mongols, and so on.
In the present study, we tested whether Tibetans also showed evidence for selection by typing 23 SNPs in the region covering the ADH1B gene in 1,175 individuals from 12 Tibetan populations representing all districts of the Tibet Autonomous Region. Multiple statistics were estimated to examine the gene diversities and positive selection signals among the Tibetans and other populations in East Asia.
The larger Tibetan populations (Qamdo, Lhasa, Nagqu, Nyingchi, Shannan, and Shigatse) comprised mostly farmers, have around 12% of H7, and 2% of H6. The smaller populations, living on hunting or recently switched to farming, have lower H7 frequencies (Tingri 9%, Gongbo 8%, Monba and Sherpa 6%). Luoba (2%) and Deng (0%) have even lower frequencies. Long-range haplotype analyses revealed very weak signals of positive selection for H7 among Tibetans. Interestingly, the haplotype diversity of H7 is higher in Tibetans than in any other populations studied, indicating a longer diversification history for that haplogroup in Tibetans. Network analysis on the long-range haplotypes revealed that H7 in the Han Chinese did not come from the Tibetans but from a common ancestor of the two populations.
We argue that H7 of ADH1B originated in the ancestors of Sino-Tibetan populations and flowed to Tibetans very early. However, as Tibetans depend less on crops, and therefore were not significantly affected by selection. Thus, H7 has not risen to a high frequency, whereas the diversity of the haplogroup has accumulated to a very high level.

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Alcohol News - 49/2012


News2Biz (Latvia) - LATVIA: Stricter regulations for alcohol retail
The Latvian Saeima has supported new alcohol retail regulations. Although alcohol still can be purchased from 18 years, now the buyers aged 18-25 will have to present an ID to the cashier without being asked to do so.
Lunaticg Banknote (Latvia) - Latvia new coin bring controversy
Latvia new coin bring controversy when their own country health ministry write a protest letter to Bank of Latvia that the new coin is just a way to advertise alcohol. The Cupro-nickel coin was released earlier this month for Latvia solstice festival, where people will drink beers for the celebrations.
ERR News (Estonia) - 'Dry Days' Contemplated as Part of National Alcohol Policy
More details have emerged regarding the Social Affairs Ministry's vision of a national alcohol policy, painting a picture of a sharp change of course toward increased restrictions.
IOGT (Sweden) - Sweden calls for an end to alcohol advertising on national television
Today alcohol advertising is broadcasted on several Swedish TV channels even though there is a clear prohibition against alcohol advertising on radio and TV. By broadcasting from the UK, TV channels, so far, have managed to circumvent Swedish legislation.
GRETTE (Norway) - Alcohol brand owners might be allowed to advertise on Norwegian TV
Norway is on the verge of involuntarily allowing the advertising of alcoholic beverages on television, contrary to the country’s strict alcohol policy. This change, which may take place as a result of pressure from the EU Commission, would have a significant impact for owners of alcohol brands.
HaberMonitor (Denmark) - Excessive alcohol consumption of young people revolted NGOs in Denmark
Despite all the measures implemented in Denmark recently mitigated with a kind of alcohol consumption, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) brought to the point of rebellion.
BBC News (UK) - EC voice opposition to Scotland's alcohol price plan
Scotland's plans for minimum pricing on alcohol are a disproportionate response to the country's drink problems, the European Commission has said.
Fox News - Drug, alcohol abuse tied to early-life strokes
Younger adults who suffered a stroke were often smokers or had abused drugs or alcohol, according to a U.S. study that looked at over 1,000 patients.
Herald Scotland (Scotland) - Police issue alcohol warning to drivers
The Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland (Acpos) said that, while they support Scottish Government proposals to reduce the alcohol limit, people who plan to get behind the wheel should not drink any alcohol at all.
Wall Street Journal (USA) - After-Hours Prohibition: U.S. Military Tightens Drinking Rules in Japan
The U.S. military in Okinawa has now prohibited all personnel from consuming alcohol while off base and restricted purchases of alcohol on base, according to a statement released over the weekend.
Irish Health (Ireland) - Alcohol kills someone every seven hours
There are more retail outlets in Ireland where you can purchase alcohol than fruit, vegetables or milk, a public health specialist has said.
The Australian (Australia) - Police launch nationwide crackdown on alcohol-related violence
REVELLERS who refuse to leave a pub or a club or fail to obey police orders will be hit with minimum $550 on-the-spot fines as part of the biggest crackdown on alcohol-related violence in Australia's history.
IcelandReview (Iceland) - Higher Benefits and Tariffs on Alcohol and Tobacco
The Government of Iceland is planning to boost revenue for the treasury by ISK 8.3 billion (USD 66 million, EUR 51 million) next year, such as by higher tariffs on alcohol and tobacco. These actions are to finance the increase in child benefits, among other issues.
BBC (Scotland) - Scots drink deaths fall but rates still high, says NHS
Alcohol-related deaths in Scotland have fallen, but the rate is still one of the highest in western and central Europe, an NHS report has said.
ABC Local (Australia) - Winemakers strategy to combat anti-alcohol lobby
The Winemakers Federation has a fresh strategy to combat health messages that alcohol is bad for us. The Federation is aniticipating sustained volleys from a committed anti-alcohol lobby.
Science World Report - Excess alcohol can have lasting effects on brain: Research
Using fly larvae as models, a new study reveals how overuse of alcohol can cause lasting changes in the brain even after alcohol abuse stops. In this study, the fly larvae were fed alcohol- spiked food for a period of days and they noticed how the larvae grew dependent on the spirit.'
Independent Online (South Africa) - Sex, drugs, booze up students’ HIV risk
More high school pupils are having sex, drinking alcohol and taking drugs before going to university – putting themselves at risk of contracting HIV and Aids, a local study has revealed.
Irish Times (Ireland) - 15% off-sales alcohol tax proposed
Publicans have urged the Government to introduce a 15 per cent tax on off-licence alcohol sales in the budget.
WA today (Australia) - Alcohol warning labels by 2014: parliamentary inquiry
Health warning labels will be added to alcohol products and advertisements by January 2014 if the federal government adopts a recommendation by a parliamentary inquiry.
Times of India (India) - More Indian women dependent on alcohol
The 33-year-old married woman from Chandigarh had never imagined that her excessive clubbing and partying would one day push her to the brink of suicide. But it did. - Fetal alcohol syndrome affects on brain defined in new study
Researchers at the department of radiology at Jagiellonian University in Krakow Poland presented the most extensive definition to date of the affects on developing baby's brains by their mother’s consumption of alcohol during pregnancy at the November 25, 2012, session of the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).
Wall Street Journal (South Korea) - As South Korea Tackles Drinking Culture, Samsung Sets Guidelines
After kicking off the night guzzling soju, a rice-based liquor, over grilled pork or raw fish, he and his co-workers would move on to a pub or karaoke lounge, occasionally past midnight.
Kyiv Post (Ukraine) - Alcohol price rise comes into effect
The increase in the floor wholesale and retail prices of some type of alcohol foreseen in cabinet resolution No. 1017 took effect from November 26, 2012.
ITV News (Wales) - Minimum alcohol price plans don't go far enough - Welsh Government
Responding to the UK Government's plans to impose a minimum price for alcohol of 45p per unit, a Welsh Government spokesperson said:
CBS News - Alcohol in "Flight" puts trademark laws in focus
The use of brand-name beer and liquor in a hit movie about an alcoholic pilot has brought product placement practices into new focus.
The Daily Telegraph - Drink brands attract underage followers on Facebook
ALCOHOL companies are turning to social media to encourage teenagers to drink. A study has found that brands popular among youths are increasingly harnessing sites like Facebook to broaden their reach.
Fars News Agency (UK) - Alcohol Second Cause of Early Death in UK
Findings of a recent study blamed alcohol as the primary cause of liver disease and second cause of early death in the UK.
Statesman Journal - Kids need parents, not drinking buddies
Loud pulsing music muffles the sound of young voices. Teens clutching cups of beer are dancing, nestled in dark corners, or passed out on couches. Where are the parents?
Technorati - Women are Dying to Drink like Men
The English Chief Medical officer has warned that women are damaging their health by trying to drink like men. Prof Dame Sally Davies, chief medical officer for England said women are damaging their livers and putting themselves at risk for alcohol abuse, obesity and a whole host of other problems.
MarketWatch (Canada) - Canada Needs Minimum Alcohol Prices to Reduce Harm: New Research Series
New alcohol pricing research upholds the call for minimum pricing and confirms that changes to price policy can reduce alcohol-related harm in Canada.

Monitoring and Evaluating Scotland’s Alcohol Strategy. 2nd Annual Report.

NHS Health Scotland has been tasked by the Scottish Government to lead the evaluation of Scotland's alcohol strategy through the Monitoring and Evaluating Scotland’s Alcohol Strategy (MESAS) work programme. There is a commitment to providing annual reports from MESAS and in March 2011 the first annual report (the baseline report) was published.

The current report is the second annual report and provides an update of Scotland’s alcohol strategy, the evaluation plan and the analyses of price, consumption, affordability and alcohol-related harms detailed in the baseline report. Additionally, this report presents findings from the evaluation of the implementation of Alcohol Brief Interventions (ABIs) in selected settings.

Read Full Report   (PFD)