Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Sensitivity to alcohol can lead to greater consumption and risk for alcoholism

Date:
May 22, 2011
Source:
Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research
Summary:
Children with a family history of alcoholism (FHP) have a higher risk for becoming alcoholic themselves. Of the two classifications of alcoholism -- types I and II -- the former is less severe but more prevalent. New findings show that a "moderate" alcohol dose can increase subjective responses of stimulation and elevate positive mood state in individuals with an FHP of type I alcoholism.

Researchers have long known that individuals with a positive family history of alcoholism (FHP) are at an increased risk themselves for alcoholism. This increased risk may be due to their different reaction to alcohol than individuals with a negative family history of alcoholism (FHN). This study investigated how sensitive individuals with an FHP of type I form of alcoholism -- characterized by a relatively late onset of dependence in socially well-adjusted individuals, low prevalence of familial alcoholism, and a milder course -- are to alcohol's stimulating properties.

Results will be published in the August 2011 issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research and are currently available at Early View.

"Most researchers look at a narrow group of alcoholics, for example, sons and fathers," explained Anna HV Söderpalm Gordh, assistant professor at the University of Gothenburg and first author of the study. "My study is the first to take a closer look at a larger group -- Type I -- that has a family member with alcoholism. In my study you can have a multigenerational family history, which makes it more general, particularly in light of the fact that about 40 percent of the Swedish population have a close relative with an alcohol problem."

"More than 30 years ago, researchers began to classify alcoholics into Type I and Type II, defining Type II alcoholism as the form with a strong genetic risk," explained Harriet de Wit, a professor in the department of psychiatry and behavioral neuroscience at The University of Chicago. "Since then, few studies have directly addressed the possibility that Type I alcoholics might also carry a genetic risk. This study is unique in that it uses an alcohol challenge procedure among individuals with a family history of Type I alcoholism, but no alcohol problems themselves."

"The type I alcoholics make up a much more common group than Type II," added Söderpalm Gordh, "which is very uncommon and rare."

The researchers gave in a randomized order either the equivalent of three alcoholic drinks (0.6 g/kg in juice) or a placebo (juice alone) to 51 healthy men (n=34) and women (n=17) who were classified as either FHP (n=22) or FHN (n=29) during two laboratory sessions. Participants then self-reported their mood states through questionnaires.

"Participants with a family member with Type I alcoholism reported more stimulant-like effects after the alcohol, compared to the FHN participants," said de Wit. "This suggests that even children of Type I alcoholics may inherit some characteristic that changes how they feel after alcohol which may, in turn, affect their risk for alcohol abuse. With alcohol and many other drugs, stimulant-like subjective effects are often associated with high risk for abuse."

"These results tell us that some of us are more sensitive to the rewarding properties of alcohol, which in turn might lead to increased consumption," said Söderpalm Gordh. "So, be aware of your reaction. If you notice that you might react stronger, happier, or more rewarded than your friends when you drink, try to slow down or not drink more than the rest do. Try to drink the recommended units per week -- seven to eight for women, 13 to 14 for men -- as any more than that is classified as risky consumption."

"These findings suggest that even offspring of children with Type I alcoholism, which was previously thought to be less genetically determined, may be at risk," said de Wit. "These individuals should monitor their alcohol consumption carefully, and consult a professional if their alcohol use begins to interfere with normal daily functions, if they have difficulty stopping, or if they frequently consume more than they intended."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Anna H. V. Söderpalm Gordh, Bo Söderpalm. Healthy Subjects with a Family History of Alcoholism Show Increased Stimulative Subjective Effects of Alcohol. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 2011; DOI: 10.1111/j.1530-0277.2011.01478.x

Cite This Page:

Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research. "Sensitivity to alcohol can lead to greater consumption and risk for alcoholism." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 May 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110516161335.htm>.
Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research. (2011, May 22). Sensitivity to alcohol can lead to greater consumption and risk for alcoholism. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110516161335.htm
Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research. "Sensitivity to alcohol can lead to greater consumption and risk for alcoholism." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110516161335.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Newsy (July 27, 2014) — A new study shows sleep deprivation can make it harder for people to remember specific details of an event. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
University Quiz Implies Atheists Are Smarter Than Christians

University Quiz Implies Atheists Are Smarter Than Christians

Newsy (July 25, 2014) — An online quiz from a required course at Ohio State is making waves for suggesting atheists are inherently smarter than Christians. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

AFP (July 24, 2014) — A so-called drugs rehab 'clinic' is closed down in Pakistan after police find scores of ‘patients’ chained up alleging serial abuse. Duration 03:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) — The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. 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