Search tips
Search criteria

Results 26-50 (114)

Clipboard (0)

Select a Filter Below

Year of Publication
more »
26.  Do Co-morbid Anxiety Disorders Predict Drinking Outcomes in Women with Alcohol Use Disorders? 
Aims: It is unclear whether co-morbid anxiety disorders predict worse drinking outcomes during attempts to change drinking behavior. Studies have yielded mixed results, and have rarely examined drinking outcomes based on a specific type of anxiety disorder. Women with alcohol use disorders (AUDs) are of particular interest as they are at risk for co-morbid anxiety [Kessler et al. (1997) Lifetime co-occurrence of DSM-III-R alcohol abuse and dependence with other psychiatric disorders in the national co-morbidity survey. Arch Gen Psychiat 54:313–21]. Methods: Participants were 260 women with AUDs participating in an alcohol-treatment outcome studies. The Timeline Follow-Back was used to assess drinking frequency (percent days drinking)  prior, within and 6 months post-treatment. The current study tested the hypothesis that having at least one lifetime anxiety disorder diagnosed at baseline using the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM Disorders would be associated with more drinking at all study time points. Exploratory analyses examined patterns of drinking outcomes by specific anxiety diagnoses. Results: Lifetime anxiety diagnosis was linked to poorer drinking outcomes post-treatment (β = 0.15, P = 0.020), despite less frequent drinking prior to treatment. Analyses by specific anxiety diagnosis indicated that generalized anxiety disorder predicted poorer drinking outcomes within treatment (β = 0.14, P = 0.018) and during follow-up (β = 0.16, P = 0.014). Conclusion: Co-morbid anxiety problems complicate treatment for AUDs among women. Further, specific anxiety disorders should be evaluated as distinct constructs as evidenced by the differential outcomes related to generalized anxiety disorder. Implications for treatment development for women with AUDs are discussed.
PMCID: PMC3284684  PMID: 22215000
27.  Price Discounts on Alcohol in a City in Northern England 
To describe the extent and nature of price discounts on alcohol in Newcastle upon Tyne, England.
An observational survey in stores licensed for off-sales in December 2010 to January 2011.
A total of 2018 price discounts in 29 stores led to a median saving of 25% and required a median purchase of 20 standard UK alcohol units. Median price per standard unit was £0.92 (US$1.49; €1.05) before discount and £0.68 (US$1.10; €0.78) after discount.
Restriction of price discounting should be considered as a public health policy.
PMCID: PMC3284686  PMID: 22358038
28.  Reduction of Ethanol Consumption in Alcohol-Preferring Rats by Dual Expression Gene Transfer 
Aims: To mimic, in an animal model of alcoholism, the protective phenotype against alcohol consumption observed in humans carrying a fast alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH1B*2) and an inactive aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH2*2). Methods: We developed a multiple expression cassette adenoviral vector (AdV-ADH/asALDH2) encoding both a fast rat ADH and an antisense RNA against rat ALDH2. A control adenoviral vector (AdV-C) containing intronic non-coding DNA was also developed. These adenoviral vectors were administered intravenously to rats bred as high alcohol-drinkers (University of Chile bibulous) that were previously rendered alcohol dependent by a 75-day period of voluntary 10% ethanol intake. Results: Animals administered AdV-ADH/asALDH2 showed a 176% increase in liver ADH activity, whereas liver ALDH2 activity was reduced by 24%, and upon the administration of a dose of ethanol (1 g/kg, i.p.), these showed arterial acetaldehyde levels that were 400% higher than those of animals administered AdV-C. Rats that received the AdV-ADH/asALDH2 vector reduced by 60% their voluntary ethanol intake versus controls. Conclusion: This study provides evidence that the simultaneous increase of liver ADH and a reduction of ALDH activity by gene transfer could constitute a potential therapeutic strategy for the treatment of alcoholism.
PMCID: PMC3284687  PMID: 22214999
29.  Interactive Influences of Neighborhood and Individual Socioeconomic Status on Alcohol Consumption and Problems 
Aims: To assess cross-level interactions between neighborhood and individual socioeconomic status (SES) on alcohol consumption and problems, and investigate three possible explanations for such interactions, including the double jeopardy, status inconsistency and relative deprivation hypotheses. Methods: Data from the 2000 and 2005 US National Alcohol Surveys were linked to the 2000 US Census to define respondent census tracts as disadvantaged, middle-class and advantaged. Risk drinking (consumption exceeding national guidelines), monthly drunkenness and alcohol problems were examined among low-, middle- and high-SES past-year drinkers (n = 8728). Gender-stratified, multiple logistic regression models were employed, and for outcomes with a significant omnibus F-test, linear contrasts were used to interpret interactions. Results: Cross-level SES interactions observed for men indicated that residence in advantaged neighborhoods was associated with markedly elevated odds of risk drinking and drunkenness for low-SES men. Linear contrasts further revealed a nearly 5-fold increased risk for alcohol problems among these men, relative to middle-SES and high-SES men also living in advantaged neighborhoods. Among women, neighborhood disadvantage was related to increased risk for alcohol problems, but there were no significant SES interactions. These findings did not support theories of double jeopardy and status inconsistency. Conclusion: Consistent with the relative deprivation hypothesis, findings highlight alcohol-related health risks among low-SES men living in affluent neighborhoods. Future research should assess whether this pattern extends to other health risk behaviors, investigate causal mechanisms and consider how gender may influence these.
PMCID: PMC3284688  PMID: 22262507
30.  Prevalence and Patterns of Hazardous and Harmful Alcohol Consumption Assessed Using the AUDIT among Bhutanese Refugees in Nepal 
Aims: This study sought to ascertain the prevalence of hazardous and harmful alcohol consumption among Bhutanese refugees in Nepal and to identify predictors of elevated risk in order to better understand intervention need. Methods: Hazardous and harmful alcohol consumption was assessed using the Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test (AUDIT) administered in a face-to-face interview in a census of two camps comprising ∼8000 refugees. Results: Approximately 1/5 men and 1/14 women drank alcohol and prevalence of hazardous drinking among current drinkers was high and comparable to that seen in Western countries with longstanding alcohol cultures. Harmful drinking was particularly associated with the use of other substances including tobacco. Conclusions: Assessment of the alcohol-related needs of Bhutanese refugees has permitted the design of interventions. This study adds to the small international literature on substance use in forced migration populations, about which there is growing concern.
PMCID: PMC3633362  PMID: 23443987
31.  Post-treatment Stage of Change Predicts 12-month Outcome of Treatment for Alcohol Problems 
Aims: To evaluate relationships between clients' self-reported ‘stage of change’ and outcomes after treatment for alcohol problems. Methods: Using data from the ‘United Kingdom Alcohol Treatment Trial’, clients who had received at least one session of treatment and who had complete data (n = 392) entered the analysis. Two continuous measures of drinking behaviour (% days abstinent (PDA) and drinks per drinking day (DDD)) and categorical outcomes at the 12-month follow-up were compared between clients in Pre-action and Action stages of change at either pre- or post-treatment assessment. Multiple and logistic regression analyses examined the relationships between stage of change and treatment outcomes, evaluating the strength of these relationships by controlling for likely confounders. Results: Pre-treatment stage of change did not predict outcome but post-treatment stage of change predicted PDA and DDD at the 12-month follow-up. In unadjusted and adjusted analyses, clients in Action at post-treatment were two to three times more likely to show a favourable categorical outcome, variously defined, than those in Pre-action. There were no differences between clients who had received Motivational Enhancement Therapy and those who had received Social Behaviour and Network Therapy in proportions maintaining or moving towards Action from before to after treatment. Conclusions: These findings confirm previous reports that motivational variables predict outcome of treatment but add that such a relationship is seen for post-treatment stage of change. For therapists, it would seem important to monitor the client's stage of change—which in good clinical practice often occurs in informal ways—and have strategies to deal with low motivation to change whenever it occurs throughout treatment. The findings are also consistent with a ‘common factors’ perspective on effective treatment for alcohol problems.
PMCID: PMC3633361  PMID: 23408241
32.  Mentorship for Alcohol Problems (MAP): A Peer to Peer Modular Intervention for Outpatients 
Aims: This is a Stage I open pilot to develop a new intervention, Mentorship for Alcohol Problems (MAP), for individuals with alcohol-use disorders in community treatment programs. Methods: Ten mentors participated for 6 months until 30 mentees received MAP for 12 weeks. Behavioral and biological measures were conducted in addition to fidelity measures. Four focus groups were held with participants and clinician feedback surveys were completed. Results: Feasibility and acceptance data in the domains of patient interest, safety and satisfaction were promising. Mentees reduced their alcohol and substance use and the majority of mentors sustained abstinence. Fidelity measures indicated that mentors adhered to the delivery of treatment. Conclusion: MAP shows promise to be incorporated into professionally run outpatient alcohol treatment programs to assist in the reduction of alcohol and substance use.
PMCID: PMC3243439  PMID: 22045903
33.  Ethanol Increases GABAergic Transmission and Excitability in Cerebellar Molecular Layer Interneurons from GAD67-GFP Knock-in Mice 
This study assessed the acute effect of ethanol on GABAergic transmission at molecular layer interneurons (MLIs; i.e. basket and stellate cells) in the cerebellar cortex. The actions of ethanol on spontaneous firing of these pacemaker neurons were also measured.
Transgenic mice (glutamic acid-decarboxylase 67-green fluorescent protein knock-in mice) that express green fluorescence protein in GABAergic interneurons were used to aid in the identification of MLIs. Parasagittal cerebellar slices were prepared and whole-cell patch-clamp electrophysiological techniques were used to measure GABAA receptor-mediated spontaneous and miniature inhibitory postsynaptic currents (sIPSCs and mIPSCs). Loose-seal cell-attached recordings were used to measure spontaneous action potential firing.
Stellate cells received spontaneous GABAergic input in the form of a mixture of action potential-dependent events (sIPSCs) and quantal events (mIPSCs); ethanol increased sIPSC frequency to a greater extent than mIPSC frequency. Ethanol increased spontaneous action potential firing of MLIs, which could explain the increase in sIPSC frequency in stellate cells. Basket cells received GABAergic input in the form of quantal events only. Ethanol significantly increased the frequency of these events, which may be mediated by a different type of interneuron (perhaps, the Lugaro cell) or Purkinje cell collaterals.
Ethanol exposure differentially increases GABA release at stellate cell vs. basket cell-to-Purkinje cell synapses. This effect may contribute to the abnormalities in cerebellar function associated with alcohol intoxication.
PMCID: PMC3243440  PMID: 22080831
34.  Acceptability and Effect of a Community-Based Alcohol Education Program in Rural Sri Lanka 
Aims: To assess the effectiveness and acceptability of a brief community-based educational program on changing the drinking pattern of alcohol in a rural community. Methods: 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. Results: 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). Conclusions: A community-based education program had high acceptance and produces a reduction in alcohol use that was sustained for 2 years.
PMCID: PMC3571206  PMID: 23161893
35.  Dealing Responsibly with the Alcohol Industry in London 
The 2012 UK Government's Alcohol Strategy for England and Wales has been welcomed broadly and resulted only in muted criticism within the UK public health community. This is despite strong continuities with previous alcohol industry constructions of the nature of the problem and preferred policy responses. This is probably because the strategy shows progress on the public health lobby's key issue of pricing of alcohol beverages. There are, however, many problems with the wider content of the strategy, showing little interest in much needed industry regulation other than on price, and an absence of commitment to investment in research. Some dilemmas posed for the research community are discussed.
PMCID: PMC3472617  PMID: 23034971
36.  Investigating Ethnic Differences in Adolescent Alcohol Use and Peer Norms Using Semi-Continuous Latent Growth Models 
Aims: To investigate whether ethnic differences in vulnerability to peer norms supportive of alcohol use is a viable, partial explanation for the ethnic differences in reported prevalence and amount of alcohol use during high school. Methods: Survey data from a sample of 680 adolescents from Project STAR (Students Taught Awareness and Resistance) of the Midwestern Prevention Project were used. Hypotheses were tested using sequential, semi-continuous growth curve models. Results: Relative to Black adolescents, White adolescents reported greater peer alcohol use during middle school and were much more likely to consume alcohol during high school. General peer norms in seventh grade and middle school growth in alcohol use norms among close friends was predictive of a greater propensity to consume alcohol in ninth grade among White adolescents. Conclusion: Lower peer norms for alcohol use among Black adolescents might better account for differences between Black and White adolescents than the possibility that White adolescents are more vulnerable to peer norms.
PMCID: PMC3156885  PMID: 21478496
37.  A Randomized Clinical Trial of a Therapeutic Workplace for Chronically Unemployed, Homeless, Alcohol-Dependent Adults 
Aims: To assess the efficacy of the Therapeutic Workplace, a substance abuse intervention that promotes abstinence while simultaneously addressing the issues of poverty and lack of job skills, in promoting abstinence from alcohol among homeless alcoholics. Methods: Participants (n = 124) were randomly assigned to conditions either requiring abstinence from alcohol to engage in paid job skills training (Contingent Paid Training group), offering paid job skills training with no abstinence contingencies (Paid Training group) or offering unpaid job skill training with no abstinence contingencies (Unpaid Training group). Results: Participants in the Contingent Paid Training group had significantly fewer positive (blood alcohol level ≥ 0.004 g/dl) breath samples than the Paid Training group in both randomly scheduled breath samples collected in the community and breath samples collected during monthly assessments. The breath sample results from the Unpaid Training group were similar in absolute terms to the Contingent Paid Training group, which may have been influenced by a lower breath sample collection rate in this group and fewer reported drinks per day consumed at intake. Conclusion: Overall, the results support the utility of the Therapeutic Workplace intervention to promote abstinence from alcohol among homeless alcoholics, and support paid training as a way of increasing engagement in training programs.
PMCID: PMC3156886  PMID: 21622676
38.  Alcohol Attenuates Activation in the Bilateral Anterior Insula during an Emotional Processing Task: A Pilot Study † 
Aims: Alcohol acutely reduces agitation and is widely used in social situations, but the neural substrates of emotion processing during its intoxication are not well understood. We examine whether alcohol's social stress dampening effect may be via reduced activity in the cortical systems that subserve awareness of bodily sensations, and are associated with affective distress. Methods: Blood oxygen level-dependent activation was measured through 24 functional magnetic resonance imaging sessions in 12 healthy volunteers during an emotional face-processing task following ingestion of a moderate dose of alcohol and a placebo beverage. Results: Results revealed that bilateral anterior insula response to emotional faces was significantly attenuated following consumption of alcohol, when compared with placebo (clusters >1472 μl; corrected P < 0.05). Conclusion: Attenuated response in the anterior insula after alcohol intake may explain some of the decreased interoceptive awareness described during intoxication.
PMCID: PMC3201697  PMID: 21665869
39.  A Review of the Validity and Reliability of Alcohol Retail Sales Data for Monitoring Population Levels of Alcohol Consumption: A Scottish Perspective 
Aims: To assess the validity and reliability of using alcohol retail sales data to measure and monitor population levels of alcohol consumption. Methods: Potential sources of bias that could lead to under- or overestimation of population alcohol consumption based on alcohol retail sales data were identified and, where possible, quantified. This enabled an assessment of the potential impact of each bias on alcohol consumption estimates in Scotland. Results: Overall, considering all the possible sources of overestimation and underestimation, and taking into account the potential for sampling variability to impact on the results, the range of uncertainty of consumption during 2010 was from an overestimate of 0.3 l to an underestimate of 2.4 l of pure alcohol per adult. This excludes the impacts of alcohol stockpiling and alcohol sold through outlets not included in the sampling frame. On balance, there is therefore far greater scope for alcohol retail sales data to be underestimating per adult alcohol consumption in Scotland than there is for overestimation. Conclusion: Alcohol retail sales data offer a robust source of data for monitoring per adult alcohol consumption in Scotland. Consideration of the sources of bias and a comprehensive understanding of data collection methods are essential for using sales data to monitor trends in alcohol consumption.
PMCID: PMC3571204  PMID: 22926649
40.  The Chinese Translations of Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) in China: A Systematic Review 
Aims: To systematically review the literature on the Chinese translations of the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) and their cross-cultural applicability in Chinese language populations. Methods: We identified peer-reviewed articles published in English (n = 10) and in Chinese (n = 11) from 1980 to September 2009, with key words China, Chinese and AUDIT among PubMed, EBSCO, PsycInfo, FirstSearch electronic databases and two Chinese databases. Results: Five teams from Beijing, Tibet, Taiwan and Hong Kong reported their region-specific translation procedures, cultural adaptations, validity (0.93–0.95 in two versions) and reliability (0.63–0.99). These Chinese translations and short versions demonstrated relatively high sensitivity (0.880–0.997) and moderate specificity (0.709–0.934) for hazardous/harmful drinking and alcohol dependence, but low specificity for alcohol dependence among Min-Nan Taiwanese (0.58). The AUDIT and its adaptations were most utilized in workplace- and hospital-settings for screening and brief intervention. However, they were under-utilized in population-based surveys, primary care settings, and among women, adolescents, rural-to-urban migrants, the elderly and minorities. Among 12 studies from mainland China, four included both women and men, and only one in Tibet was published in English. Conclusion: There is a growing amount of psychometric, epidemiologic and treatment research using Chinese translations of the AUDIT, much of it still unavailable in the English-language literature. Given the increase in burden of disease and injury attributable to alcohol use in the Western Pacific region, the use of an internationally comparable instrument (such as the AUDIT) in research with Chinese populations presents a unique opportunity to expand clinical and epidemiologic knowledge about alcohol problem epidemics.
PMCID: PMC3119458  PMID: 21467046
42.  Sociodemographic Correlates of Transitions from Alcohol Use to Disorders and Remission in the São Paulo Megacity Mental Health Survey, Brazil 
Aims: To evaluate sociodemographic correlates associated with transitions from alcohol use to disorders and remission in a Brazilian population. Methods: Data are from a probabilistic, multi-stage clustered sample of adult household residents in the São Paulo Metropolitan Area. Alcohol use, regular use (at least 12 drinks/year), DSM-IV abuse and dependence and remission from alcohol use disorders (AUDs) were assessed with the World Mental Health version of the Composite International Diagnostic Interview. Age of onset (AOO) distributions of the cumulative lifetime probability of each alcohol use stage were prepared with data obtained from 5037 subjects. Correlates of transitions were obtained from a subsample of 2942 respondents, whose time-dependent sociodemographic data were available. Results: Lifetime prevalences were 85.8% for alcohol use, 56.2% for regular use, 10.6% for abuse and 3.6% for dependence; 73.4 and 58.8% of respondents with lifetime abuse and dependence, respectively, had remitted. The number of sociodemographic correlates decreased from alcohol use to disorders. All transitions across alcohol use stages up to abuse were consistently associated with male gender, younger cohorts and lower education. Importantly, low education was a correlate for developing AUD and not remitting from dependence. Early AOO of first alcohol use was associated with the transition of regular use to abuse. Conclusion: The present study demonstrates that specific correlates differently contribute throughout alcohol use trajectory in a Brazilian population. It also reinforces the need of preventive programs focused on early initiation of alcohol use and high-risk individuals, in order to minimize the progression to dependence and improve remission from AUD.
PMCID: PMC3080240  PMID: 21414952
43.  Ceftriaxone, a Beta-Lactam Antibiotic, Reduces Ethanol Consumption in Alcohol-Preferring Rats 
Aims: Changes in glutamatergic transmission affect many aspects of neuroplasticity associated with ethanol and drug addiction. For instance, ethanol- and drug-seeking behavior is promoted by increased glutamate transmission in key regions of the motive circuit. We hypothesized that because glutamate transporter 1 (GLT1) is responsible for the removal of most extracellular glutamate, up-regulation or activation of GLT1 would attenuate ethanol consumption. Methods: Alcohol-preferring (P) rats were given 24 h/day concurrent access to 15 and 30% ethanol, water and food for 7 weeks. During Week 6, P rats received either 25, 50, 100 or 200 mg/kg ceftriaxone (CEF, i.p.), a β-lactam antibiotic known to elevate GLT1 expression, or a saline vehicle for five consecutive days. Water intake, ethanol consumption and body weight were measured daily for 15 days starting on Day 1 of injections. We also tested the effects of CEF (100 and 200 mg/kg, i.p.) on daily sucrose (10%) consumption as a control for motivated behavioral drinking. Results: Statistical analyses revealed a significant reduction in daily ethanol, but not sucrose, consumption following CEF treatment. During the post treatment period, there was a recovery of ethanol intake across days. Dose-dependent increases in water intake were manifest concurrent with the CEF-induced decreases in ethanol intake. Nevertheless, CEF did not affect body weight. An examination of a subset of the CEF-treated ethanol-drinking rats, on the third day post CEF treatment, revealed increases in GTL1 expression levels within the prefrontal cortex and nucleus accumbens. Conclusions: These results indicate that CEF effectively reduces ethanol intake, possibly through activation of GLT1, and may be a potential therapeutic drug for alcohol addiction treatment.
PMCID: PMC3104611  PMID: 21422004
44.  Acetate-Dependent Mechanisms of Inborn Tolerance to Ethanol 
Aims: To clarify the role of acetate in neurochemical mechanisms of the initial (inborn) tolerance to ethanol. Methods: Rats with low and high inborn tolerance to hypnotic effect of ethanol were used. In the brain region homogenates (frontal and parietal cortex, hypothalamus, striatum, medulla oblongata) and brain cortex synaptosomes, the levels of acetate, acetyl-CoA, acetylcholine (AcH), the activity of pyruvate dehydrogenase (PDG) and acetyl-CoA synthetase were examined. Results: It has been found that brain cortex of rats with high tolerance to hypnotic effect of ethanol have higher level of acetate and activity of acetyl-CoA synthetase, but lower level of acetyl-СCoA and activity of PDG. In brain cortex synaptosomes of tolerant rats, the pyruvate oxidation rate as well as the content of acetyl-CoA and AcH synthesis were lower when compared with intolerant animals. The addition of acetate into the medium significantly increased the AcH synthesis in synaptosomes of tolerant, but not of intolerant animals. Calcium ions stimulated the AcH release from synaptosomes twice as high in tolerant as in intolerant animals. Acetate eliminated the stimulating effect of calcium ions upon the release of AcH in synaptosomes of intolerant rats, but not in tolerant animals. As a result, the quantum release of AcH from synaptosomes in the presence of acetate was 6.5 times higher in tolerant when compared with intolerant rats. Conclusion: The brain cortex of rats with high inborn tolerance to hypnotic effect of ethanol can better utilize acetate for the acetyl-CoA and AcH synthesis, as well as being resistant to inhibitory effect of acetate to calcium-stimulated release of AcH. It indicates the metabolic and cholinergic mechanisms of the initial tolerance to ethanol.
PMCID: PMC3114548  PMID: 21349883
45.  Do We Need Age-Specific Alcohol Consumption Guidelines? 
PMCID: PMC3331620  PMID: 22398024
46.  What Can Alcohol Researchers Learn from Research about the Relationship Between Macro-Level Gender Equality and Violence against Women? 
Aims: This systematic review focuses on research about macro-level gender equality and violence against women (VAW) and identifies conceptually and theoretically driven hypotheses as well as lessons relevant for alcohol research. Hypotheses include: amelioration—increased equality decreases VAW; backlash—increased equality increases VAW; and convergence—increased equality reduces the gender gap; and hypotheses that distinguish between relative and absolute status, with relative status comparing men's and women's status and absolute status measuring women's status without regard to men. Methods: Systematic review of studies published through June 2009 identified through PubMed and Web of Science, as well as citing and cited articles. Results: A total of 30 studies are included. Of 85 findings examining amelioration/backlash, 25% support amelioration, 22% backlash; and 53% are null. Of 13 findings examining convergence, 31% support and 23% are inconsistent with convergence; 46% are null. Conclusion: Neither the existence nor the direction of the equality and VAW relationship can be assumed. This suggests that the relationship between macro-level gender equality and alcohol should also not be assumed, but rather investigated through research.
PMCID: PMC3104612  PMID: 21239417
47.  Patterns of Alcohol Use in Early Adolescence Predict Problem Use at Age 16 
Aims: Teenagers in the UK report some of the highest rates of alcohol use in Europe. We identify patterns of alcohol use in early adolescence and relate these to hazardous and harmful alcohol use at age 16. Methods: In a UK birth cohort, we analysed repeated measures of alcohol use from age 13 to 15 in a sample of 7100 adolescents. Data on drinking frequency and typical consumption when drinking were modelled separately using a pair of latent class models. Classes of alcohol-use behaviour were contrasted across a range of risk factors and then to hazardous and harmful alcohol use as assessed using the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test scale at age 16. Results: Heterogeneity in drinking frequency and consumption could each be captured with three classes corresponding to low, medium and high levels. In total, 14.2% were classified as high-frequency and 8.9% as high consumption alcohol users. Socio-demographic factors, maternal substance use and the young persons' use of tobacco and cannabis were associated with class membership. At age 16, 29% were drinking hazardously and a further 5.6% were assessed as harmful drinkers. Young people in the high drinking frequency or consumption class had a 9-fold increased risk of reporting harmful drinking at age 16. Conclusions: By the age of 16, a substantial proportion of teenagers in this sample were drinking at levels that could be considered hazardous or harmful for an adult. Patterns of alcohol exposure in early adolescence were strongly associated with later alcohol use. Altering drinking patterns in middle adolescence has the potential to reduce harmful use in later adolescence.
PMCID: PMC3284685  PMID: 22215001
48.  Nicotine as a Factor in Stress Responsiveness Among Detoxified Alcoholics 
Aims: The effect of transdermal nicotine on stress reactivity was investigated in currently smoking, detoxified, substance-dependent individuals (65% alcohol dependent, n = 51; 31 male) following a psychosocial stressor. Methods: Using a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled design, subjects were assigned to receive either active transdermal nicotine (low or high dose) or placebo. Six hours following nicotine administration, subjects performed a laboratory psychosocial stressor consisting of two 4-min public-speaking sessions. Results: Consistent with prior reports, substance-dependent individuals displayed a blunted stress response. However, a review of the cortisol distribution data encouraged additional analyses. Notably, a significant minority of the substance-dependent individuals (33%) demonstrated elevated poststress cortisol levels. This group of responders was more likely to be alcohol dependent and to have received the high dose of nicotine [χ2(2) = 32, P < 0.0001], [χ2(2) = 18.66, P < 0.0001]. Differences in salivary cortisol responses between responders and nonresponders could not be accounted for by the length of sobriety, nicotine withdrawal levels, anxiety or depressive symptomatology at the time of the psychosocial stressor. Conclusion: These results suggest that nicotine administration may support a normalization of the salivary cortisol response following psychosocial stress in subgroups of substance-dependent individuals, particularly those who are alcohol dependent. Given the association between blunted cortisol levels and relapse, and the complex actions of nicotine at central and peripheral sites, these findings support the systematic study of factors including nicotine, which may influence stress reactivity and the recovery process in alcohol-dependent individuals.
PMCID: PMC3002844  PMID: 21045074
49.  Alcohol Affects the Late Differentiation of Progenitor B Cells 
Aims: Previous studies show that alcohol exposure can affect the differentiation of progenitor B cells. Before final commitment to a B lineage, progenitor B cells usually undergo several important stages. However, it is still unclear whether alcohol alters B cell differentiation at which stages. The aim of this study was to determine which stage(s) of progenitor cell differentiation are affected by alcohol and to elucidate the mechanism(s) responsible for the effect of alcohol on B cell differentiation. Methods: Oligoclonal-neonatal-progenitor (ONP) cells from bone marrow cells of 2-week-old mice were cultured under different conditions in vitro with or without the exposure of 100 mM alcohol. Phenotype analysis was performed at different time points and expression levels of transcription factors (TFs) and cytokine receptors were measured quantitatively and kinetically. Results: After 3 days in vitro culture, ONP cells differentiated into two populations: B220−CD11b− and B220−CD11b+ cells. B220−CD11b− cells can further differentiate into B lineage cells only with the support of B220−CD11b+ cells. Cells exposed to 100 mM of alcohol during the first 3 days of culture showed no statistically significant difference in B cell formation after 12 days compared with the control group. However, cells exposed to alcohol from Day 4 till the end of culture yield very few B cells. Expression levels of TFs and cytokine receptors were down-regulated kinetically among ONP cells co-cultured with the addition of 100 mM alcohol. Conclusions: Alcohol affects the ONP cell differentiation into B lineage at a late stage. Alcohol also down-regulates the expression level of TFs and cytokine receptors resulting in the impairment of B cell differentiation.
PMCID: PMC3002845  PMID: 21098503
50.  Response Inhibition Impairments Predict Alcohol-Induced Sedation 
Aims: The aim of this study was to probe the relationship between the subjective effects of alcohol and impulsive behavior in social drinkers. Methods: Fifty social drinkers performed a response-inhibition task before consuming alcohol. A 0.8-g/kg dose of alcohol was administered in a binge-like fashion (0.2 g/kg every 30 min) to the participants over a 2-h time period. Participants then completed questionnaires measuring stimulation, sedation and mood following consumption of alcohol. Linear regression analyses were performed by examining the relationship between performance on the response inhibition impulsivity task and subjective responses to alcohol (i.e. stimulation, sedation and arousal). Results: There was a significant positive relationship found between impulsive responding and self-reported sedation following alcohol consumption. Additionally, there was a significant negative relationship between behavioral impulsivity and self-reported stimulation and arousal following alcohol consumption. Conclusion: These results suggest that higher levels of impulsivity are associated with experiencing greater sedating than stimulating effects of alcohol. Individuals with high levels of impulsivity may be less sensitive to the stimulating effects of a specified dose of alcohol, which could lead to these individuals consuming more alcohol to experience the stimulating effects of alcohol.
PMCID: PMC3002846  PMID: 21127353

Results 26-50 (114)