Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Stress Hormone Linked To Increased Alcohol Consumption

Date:
May 23, 2000
Source:
NIH -- National Institute On Alcohol Abuse And Alcoholism
Summary:
Monkeys that responded with high cortisol concentrations to stress during infancy were more likely than their peers to drink alcohol as adults, report researchers at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

Researchers at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development report in the current issue of Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research (Volume 24, Number 5) results from the first study to determine whether future drinking may be predicted by response to stress during infancy. Monkeys that responded with high cortisol concentrations to stress during infancy were more likely than their peers to drink alcohol as adults, the research team found.

"Both drinking behavior and an individual's response to stress are determined by multiple genetic and environmental factors," said National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism Director Enoch Gordis, M.D. "If borne out in humans, these findings elucidate the alcohol-stress relationship in two ways: They confirm that early life stress can influence later alcohol consumption, and they offer a promising biological marker of risk for excessive drinking."

"This research may one day lead to ways to prevent alcohol abuse in adults, as well as prevent the devastating effects of alcohol on the developing fetus," said Duane Alexander, M.D., Director of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). "It is indeed a promising finding."

Led by J. Dee Higley, Ph.D., Laboratory of Clinical Studies-Primate Unit, NIAAA, and Stephen Suomi, Ph.D., Chief, Laboratory of Comparative Ethology, NICHD, and funded by NIAAA, NICHD, and the Swedish Medical Research Council, the researchers followed 97 rhesus macaques from birth to young adulthood. Forty monkeys were separated from their mothers at birth and placed in a neonatal nursery for the first month of life. After 30 days, these monkeys were caged with 3 age-matched peers. Meanwhile, the other 57 monkeys under study remained with their mothers.

When the monkeys were 6 months of age, they were separated briefly from their mothers or peers to test the response to stress. Each monkey was placed into a separation cage where it could hear and see but not touch other monkeys. After separation, blood tests were used to measure plasma cortisol concentration. The researchers found that the stress of separation caused the average cortisol concentration to double. Although cortisol levels in both peer-reared and mother-reared monkeys increased in response to separation, the mean cortisol concentration for peer-reared monkeys was significantly higher than the mean cortisol concentration for mother-reared monkeys.

When the monkeys were young adults (3 to 5 years of age), they were observed for differences in voluntary alcohol consumption. Each monkey had access to alcohol at a drinking station unit, a clear, enclosed perch that enabled the animal to drink without interference from other monkeys. Water was freely available during the periods that the alcohol solution was dispensed. Monkeys that responded to separation as infants with high cortisol levels drank significantly more alcohol as adults than did low-cortisol responders. On average, the adult peer-reared monkeys drank more alcohol than did the mother-reared monkeys.

"These results extend the findings of earlier studies that found that cortisol doubles or triples after separation," said Dr. Higley. "Today's study is the first to follow the monkeys to young adulthood, assess the impact on future drinking behavior, and show that high cortisol levels predict high alcohol consumption in young adults."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NIH -- National Institute On Alcohol Abuse And Alcoholism. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

NIH -- National Institute On Alcohol Abuse And Alcoholism. "Stress Hormone Linked To Increased Alcohol Consumption." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 May 2000. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/05/000522084349.htm>.
NIH -- National Institute On Alcohol Abuse And Alcoholism. (2000, May 23). Stress Hormone Linked To Increased Alcohol Consumption. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/05/000522084349.htm
NIH -- National Institute On Alcohol Abuse And Alcoholism. "Stress Hormone Linked To Increased Alcohol Consumption." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/05/000522084349.htm (accessed August 20, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Do More Wedding Guests Make A Happier Marriage?

Do More Wedding Guests Make A Happier Marriage?

Newsy (Aug. 20, 2014) — A new study found couples who had at least 150 guests at their weddings were more likely to report being happy in their marriages. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape

Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape

AP (Aug. 20, 2014) — Nine years after Hurricane Katrina, charter schools are the new reality of public education in New Orleans. The state of Louisiana took over most of the city's public schools after the killer storm in 2005. (Aug. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

AP (Aug. 19, 2014) — Four Texas high school football programs are trying out an experimental system designed to diagnose concussions on the field. The technology is in response to growing concern over head trauma in America's most watched sport. (Aug. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Kids' Drawings At Age 4 Linked To Intelligence At Age 14

Kids' Drawings At Age 4 Linked To Intelligence At Age 14

Newsy (Aug. 19, 2014) — A study by King's College London says there's a link between how well kids draw at age 4 and how intelligent they are later in life. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins