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, September 13, 2008

News Release - Key enzyme for regulating heart attack damage found, Stanford scientists report

September 11, 2008

STANFORD, Calif. — Marauding molecules cause the tissue damage that underlies heart attacks, sunburn, Alzheimer’s and hangovers. But scientists at the Stanford University School of Medicine say they may have found ways to combat the carnage after discovering an important cog in the body’s molecular detoxification machinery.

The culprit molecules are oxygen byproducts called free radicals. These highly unstable molecules start chain reactions of cellular damage—an escalating storm that ravages healthy tissue.

“We’ve found a totally new pathway for reducing the damage caused by free radicals, such as the damage that happens during a heart attack,” said Daria Mochly-Rosen, PhD, professor of chemical and systems biology and the senior author of a study reporting the new findings. The research appears in the Sept. 12 issue of Science.
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Activation of Aldehyde Dehydrogenase-2 Reduces Ischemic Damage to the Heart
12 September 2008:
Vol. 321. no. 5895, pp. 1493 - 1495

There is substantial interest in the development of drugs that limit the extent of ischemia-induced cardiac damage caused by myocardial infarction or by certain surgical procedures.

Here, using an unbiased proteomic search, we identified mitochondrial aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (ALDH2) as an enzyme whose activation correlates with reduced ischemic heart damage in rodent models.

A high-throughput screen yielded a small-molecule activator of ALDH2 (Alda-1) that, when administered to rats before an ischemic event, reduced infarct size by 60%, most likely through its inhibitory effect on the formation of cytotoxic aldehydes. In vitro, Alda-1 was a particularly effective activator of ALDH2*2, an inactive mutant form of the enzyme that is found in 40% of East Asian populations.

Thus, pharmacologic enhancement of ALDH2 activity may be useful for patients with wild-type or mutant ALDH2 who are subjected to cardiac ischemia, such as during coronary bypass surgery.

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Web-based norms for the Drinker Inventory of Consequences from the Drinker's Checkup
Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment Volume 35, Issue 3, October 2008, Pages 322-327

To date, the only published norms for the Drinker Inventory of Consequences (DrInC) have come from a sample of heavy drinkers in Project MATCH (Matching Alcoholism Treatments to Client Heterogeneity) who were enrolling in a treatment program.

We have generated an additional set of norms for the DrInC based on a large sample (N = 1,564) of heavy drinkers who have completed the DrInC as part of a Web-based brief motivational intervention, the Drinker's Checkup (DCU; Although these drinkers were not seeking formal treatment, they were concerned enough about their drinking to pay $25 to use the DCU.

Comparing the means and decile scores for lifetime and recent total scores and subscale scores between the DCU and MATCH samples revealed that DrInC scores for the DCU sample were significantly lower than the MATCH sample.

These findings have implications for giving normative feedback using the DrInC with non-treatment-seeking populations. The use and limitations of these findings are discussed.

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Guidance for GP alcohol Direcet Enhanced Service

Friday, September 12, 2008

A guidance document has been released to support the delivery of clinical directed enhanced services, alcohol being one of the five key health and service priorities. The DES allows specific funding for GPs to deliver Screening and Brief Interventions (SBIs) to newly registered patients. The DESs began in April 2008 and are scheduled to run for 2 years backed by £50 million funding proposed earlier in the year, with an annual £8 million alcohol allocation.

According to the guidance, practices are required to screen newly registered patients using a shortened screening tool such as FAST. Those identified as positive will be given the full AUDIT test to determine if they are drinking at hazardous or harmful levels, and then offered the recommended intervention of 5 minutes brief advice in line with University of Newcastle's primary care guidance 'How Much is too much?'. Dependant drinkers should be referred to local treatment services.

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Friday, September 12, 2008

Ethanol Enhances Glutamate Transmission by Retrograde Dopamine Signaling in a Postsynaptic Neuron/Synaptic Bouton Preparation From the Ventral Tegmental Area
advance online publication 10 September 2008

It is well documented that somatodendritically released dopamine is important in the excitability and synaptic transmission of midbrain dopaminergic neurons. Recently we showed that in midbrain slices, acute ethanol exposure facilitates glutamatergic transmission onto dopaminergic neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA). The VTA is a brain region critical to the rewarding effects of abused drugs, including ethanol.

We hypothesized that ethanol facilitation might result from an increase in somatodendritically released dopamine, which acts retrogradely on dopamine D1 receptors on glutamate-releasing axons and consequently leads to an increase in glutamate release onto dopaminergic neurons. To further test this hypothesis and to examine whether ethanol facilitation can occur at the single-cell level, VTA neurons were freshly isolated from rat brains using an enzyme-free procedure. These isolated neurons retain functional synaptic terminals, including those that release glutamate. Spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic currents (sEPSCs) mediated by glutamate alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methylisoxazole-4-propionic acid receptors were recorded from these freshly isolated putative dopaminergic neurons.

We found that acute application of clinically relevant concentrations of ethanol (10–80 mM) significantly facilitated the frequency of sEPSCs but not their mean amplitude. Ethanol facilitation was mimicked by the D1 agonist SKF 38393 and by the dopamine uptake blocker GBR 12935 but was blocked by the D1 antagonist SKF 83566, and by depleting dopamine stores with reserpine, as well as by chelating postsynaptic calcium with BAPTA.

Furthermore, the sodium channel blocker tetrodotoxin eliminated the facilitation of sEPSCs induced by ethanol but not by SKF 38393. These results constitute the first evidence from single isolated cells of ethanol facilitation of glutamate transmission to dopaminergic neurons in the VTA.

In addition, we show that ethanol facilitation has a postsynaptic origin and a presynaptic locus.

Furthermore, ethanol stimulation of a single dopaminergic neuron is capable of eliciting the release of somatodendritic dopamine, which is sufficient to influence glutamatergic transmission at individual synapses.

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Alcohol Abuse/Dependence Symptoms Among Hospital Employees Exposed to a SARS Outbreak
Alcohol and Alcoholism Advance Access published online on September 12, 2008

The aim of this study was to examine alcohol abuse/dependence symptoms among hospital employees exposed to a severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak, and the relationship between types of exposure to the SARS outbreak and subsequent alcohol abuse/dependence symptoms.

Current alcohol abuse/dependence symptom counts 3 years after the outbreak were positively associated with having been quarantined, or worked in high-risk locations such as SARS wards, during the outbreak. However, having had family members or friends contract, SARS was not related to alcohol abuse/dependence symptom count. Symptoms of PTS and of depression, and having used drinking as a coping method, were also significantly associated with increased alcohol abuse/dependence symptoms. The relationship between outbreak exposure and alcohol abuse/dependence symptom count remained significant even when sociodemographic and other factors were controlled for. When the intrusion, avoidance and hyperarousal PTS symptom clusters were entered into the model, hyperarousal was found to be significantly associated with alcohol abuse/dependence symptoms.

Exposure to an outbreak of a severe infectious disease can, like other disaster exposures, lead not only to PTSD but also to other psychiatric conditions, such as alcohol abuse/dependence. The findings will help policy makers and health professionals to better prepare for potential outbreaks of diseases such as SARS or avian flu.

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An Intervention for Treating Alcohol Dependence: Relating Elements of Medical Management to Patient Outcomes With Implications for Primary Care
Annals of Family Medicine
6:435-440 (2008)

Alcohol dependence, frequently seen in medical settings, is a major problem that affects the health and well-being of many individuals and their families.

The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between treatment outcomes and patient and clinician factors specifically associated with a medically oriented intervention given for the treatment of alcohol dependence. The intervention was developed for the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism–sponsored COMBINE Study, a randomized controlled trial combining 2 medications, naltrexone and acamprosate, with Medical Management, with or without specialty alcohol treatment.

We examined the effect of patient adherence to treatment (number of Medical Management visits, total minutes in treatment, alliance or therapeutic relationship with the clinician, patient satisfaction with treatment, and clinician adherence to the Medical Management protocol) on abstinence from alcohol, amount of heavy drinking, and clinical improvement during treatment.

More Medical Management visits attended and less total time spent in Medical Management treatment was associated with more days of abstinence from alcohol, reductions in heavy alcohol drinking, and a higher likelihood of clinical improvement. The patients’ positive perceptions of their alliance with their clinician and their satisfaction with treatment was significantly associated with more days of abstinence from alcohol during treatment. Two clinician factors clinician confidence in the Medical Management treatment and flexibility in delivering Medical Management were also associated with better patient outcomes.

Medically trained clinicians with minimal specialty training in alcohol dependence treatments were able to deliver a brief and effective medication management intervention that was designed to be consistent with primary care practice.

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News Release - Novel Compound Shows Promise for Treatment of Alcoholism

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (September 11, 2008) - Southern Research Institute and Gallo Research Center today announced that peer-reviewed results from a study testing Naltrexone-derived pyridomorphinan (SoRI-9409) will be published in the December 2008 issue of the journal Biological Psychiatry. The publication is available online today at the journal's website, and suggests that a new compound that causes selective and long-lasting reduction in ethanol consumption might be a promising candidate as a novel treatment for alcoholism.

The article, "A Novel Delta Opioid Receptor Antagonist, SoRI-9409, Produces a Selective and Long-Lasting Decrease in Ethanol Consumption in Heavy-Drinking Rats" by Selena Bartlett, BPharm PhD, Director of Preclinical Development Group at the Gallo Research Center at University of California San Francisco, et al presents the effects of SoRI-9409 on ethanol consumption. These are promising developments for the treatment of alcoholism. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) estimates 15.1 million people are alcohol-abusing or alcohol-dependent individuals. There are currently only three FDA-approved options for the treatment of alcoholism.

The compound, SoRI-9409, was first designed and synthesized in Southern Research's Drug Discovery research division by Dr. Subramaniam (Sam) Ananthan under U.S. Government Grant DA008883. "Southern Research has been particularly interested in ligands that interact with opioid delta receptor subtype since such ligands hold promise as therapeutic agents for treatment of drug addictions and other disorders," said Dr. Ananthan, senior scientist and manager of Computational Chemistry and CNS Discovery Chemistry at Southern Research Institute. "The present findings by Dr. Bartlett and her group on the effect of SoRI-9409 on its ability to reduce alcohol intake not only provides us with a new drug lead, but also serves as the impetus for further research aimed at discovery of new therapeutic compounds for treating alcoholism and related disorders."

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A Novel Delta Opioid Receptor Antagonist, SoRI-9409, Produces a Selective and Long-Lasting Decrease in Ethanol Consumption in Heavy-Drinking Rats
Biological Psychiatry Article in Press, 6 September 2008

Naltrexone, a compound with high affinity for the μ opioid receptor (MOP-R) reduces alcohol consumption. SoRI-9409 is a derivative of naltrexone that has highest affinity at δ opioid receptors (DOP-Rs).

We have investigated the effects of SoRI-9409 on ethanol consumption to determine the consequences of altering the naltrexone compound to a form with increased efficacy at DOP-Rs.

In high- but not low-ethanol–consuming animals, SoRI-9409 is threefold more effective and selective at reducing ethanol consumption when compared with naltrexone or naltrindole for up to 24 hours. SoRI-9409 administered daily for 28 days continuously reduced ethanol consumption, and when the administration of SoRI-9409 was terminated, the amount of ethanol consumed remained lower compared with vehicle-treated animals. Furthermore, SoRI-9409 inhibits DOP-R–stimulated [35S]GTPγS binding in brain membranes of high-ethanol–consuming rats.

SoRI-9409 causes selective and long-lasting reductions of ethanol consumption. This suggests that compounds that have high affinity for DOP-Rs such as SoRI-9409 might be promising candidates for development as a novel therapeutic for the treatment of alcoholism.

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News Release - MillerCoors Under Fire for Raunchy, Soft Porn Ads for Controversial "Sparks" Energy Brew

Sponsored Videos on Aimed at 18+ Violate Industry�s Voluntary Advertising Code

WASHINGTON�Megabrewer MillerCoors is coming under fresh fire for advertising its caffeinated alcoholic drink Sparks with web videos that portray drug use, explicit sexual content, misogyny, and that otherwise exude general raunchiness. The company was already under investigation by state attorneys general and the target of a civil lawsuit filed earlier this week by the nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest.

The video series, which casts men with dwarfism in a parody of HBO�s Entourage, is sponsored by Sparks, framed by ads for Sparks, and has cans of Sparks placed throughout two of the three episodes available on the web site. CSPI today notified the Beer Institute and the Federal Trade Commission that the "Tiny Entourage" ads violate the letter of the industry's voluntary marketing code and will serve as an important test of how, or whether, the industry can continue to self-regulate.

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Culture Alcohol & Society Quarterly
Newsletter of Kirk/CAAS Collections at Brown

Vol. III no. 6 January/February/March 2008


News and Notes pp. 2-5
News: AHA/ADHS Panels Jan 2009 pp. 2-3
A Washingtonian Anniversary p. 3
Notes on Early AA and Early AAs pp. 3-5
The Messengers to Ebby: A Letter to the Editor from Jack G. pp. 5-8
From Samuel George Blythe , The Old Game (1914, pp. 9-25), pp. 8-11
From Margie Lee Rumbeck, Answer Without Ceasing (1949), pp. 11-23
Washingtonian Notes and Queries (no. 20) pp.23-24

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Thursday, September 11, 2008

Factors Mediating the Association Between Drinking in the First Year After Alcohol Treatment and Drinking at Three Years
J. Stud. Alcohol Drugs 69: 728-737, 2008

Previous research has shown a significant relationship between alcohol consumption in the first year following alcohol treatment admission and longer term functioning. This finding is clinically important and pertains to the clinical course of alcohol-use disorders(AUDs).

This study investigated mediators of these relationships, focusing on the first year after treatment admission and alcohol consumption 3 years later.

Model tests by use of structural equation modeling methods showed poor model fit, owing primarily to problems involving the psychosocial-functioning variable. Consequently, a reduced model was tested that dropped the psychosocial factor. Initial tests of this model showed an excellent fit to the data that replicated across subsamples and 3-year drinking variables at the overall model and individual path levels. There was strong support for the hypothesis that the total effects of first-year alcohol use on 3-year drinking is mediated in part (31% and 23% for the two drinking outcomes) through self-efficacy to abstain from alcohol at 15 months.

First-year posttreatment admission alcohol use predicts longer term (3-year) alcohol use, and a substantial portion of this relationship seems to be mediated through self-efficacy at 15 months to abstain from alcohol use. The apparent benefit of sustained abstinence in the first year may be in part the result of facilitation in the rate or strength of the acquisition of self-efficacy. Discussed are the clinical implications of these findings as well as directions for future research involving longitudinal studies of alcohol use, treatment experiences, psychosocial factors, and their interaction both within the first year and afterward in the determination of the clinical course of alcohol-use disorders.

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Multiple-Domain Predictors of Problematic Alcohol Use in Young Adulthood
J. Stud. Alcohol Drugs 69: 649-659, 2008

The goal of this study was to identify predictors of problematic young adult alcohol use.

The sample consisted of 141 subjects (81 females) participating in a national study of genetic risk factors for alcoholism. All subjects were evaluated first as children or adolescents, then approximately 5 years later as young adults. Outcome consisted of the number of alcohol symptoms (0-10) endorsed at this second time point. Predictors of outcome were drawn from five domains representing: (1) Demographic Characteristics, (2) Child/Adolescent Problematic Alcohol Use, (3) Biological Risk, (4) Externalizing Behaviors, and (5) Family Environment. A two-stage analytic strategy was used in which (1) separate multiple regression analyses were conducted within each of the five domains and (2) statistically significant predictors of problematic alcohol use from each domain were combined into one regression model to determine which remained significant.

In the final model, 31% of the variance in the number of alcohol symptoms in young adulthood was predicted by a high number of alcohol symptoms in childhood and adolescence, low initial sensitivity to alcohol, and a negative child/adolescent relationship with the father.

These results demonstrated that GABRA2 originally associated with a diagnosis of alcohol dependence in adults also predicted the onset of symptoms among subjects in their 20s, confirmed specific hypotheses about three other predictors in the final model, and suggested the utility of incorporating biological and nonbiological predictors to optimally predict young adult alcohol problems.

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Neighborhood Socioeconomic Status Effects on Adolescent Alcohol Outcomes Using Growth Models: Exploring the Role of Parental Alcoholism
J. Stud. Alcohol Drugs 69: 639-648, 2008

There is conflicting evidence regarding the impact of neighborhood socioeconomic status (SES) on adolescent alcohol use. The current study tested whether the prospective effects of neighborhood SES on adolescent alcohol outcomes varied across parental alcoholism subgroups.

Among non-COAs, higher neighborhood SES predicted increased rates in alcohol use and consequences, whereas among COAs, lower neighborhood SES was predictive of increased rates in alcohol use and marginally predicted rates of consequences. There were also time-specific effects of family mobility on alcohol outcomes.

The current study provides evidence for differential effects of neighborhood SES on adolescent alcohol use and consequences for non-COAs and COAs. The group differences found in this study may help explain the equivocal findings from previous neighborhood studies, which may use samples with an unmeasured mix of high- and low-risk adolescents.

Future research should identify pathways to alcohol use and problems for high- and low-risk adolescents living in neighborhoods that span the range of the socioeconomic spectrum.

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Alcohol Dependence and Reproductive Onset: Findings in Two Australian Twin Cohorts
Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research Published Online: 5 Sep 2008

Although early alcohol use is a strong predictor of future alcohol problems and adolescent drinking is associated with risky sexual behavior predictive of early childbearing, reproductive dysfunctions associated with delayed childbearing have been reported in adult drinkers.

We examine the relationship between lifetime history of alcohol dependence (AD) and timing of first childbirth across reproductive development.

Results suggest alcoholic women in both cohorts show overall delayed reproduction, with little effect of AD on timing of first reproduction in men. Effects of AD are particularly strong for women in the older cohort, where AD is associated with 73% decreased likelihood of first childbirth after age 29 [hazard ratio (HR) = 0.27, 95% CI: 0.10–0.75]. In adjusted models, effects reduce only slightly (HR = 0.29, 95% CI: 0.11–0.80). For women in the young cohort, AD is associated with delayed reproduction after age 24, with 40% decreased likelihood of first childbirth (HR = 0.60, 95% CI: 0.48–0.75). AD remains predictive in adjusted models, but without age interaction (HR = 0.72, 95% CI: 0.62–0.85).

Findings of delayed reproductive onset in alcoholic women are consistent with alcohol-related reproductive dysfunctions, although underlying mechanisms remain largely unknown. To better understand AD differences in reproductive onset, continued research on both biological and psychosocial risks is needed.

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Expression of Renin-Angiotensin System and Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptors in Alcoholic Cardiomyopathy
Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research Published Online: 9 Sep 2008

Alcoholic cardiomyopathy (ACM) develops in response to chronic alcohol intake and it is hypothesized that activation of the renin-angiotensin system (RAS) and disorders in energy metabolism may play important roles in its onset. Given that the expression of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARα and PPARγ) changes with alterations in cardiac metabolism and myocardial remodeling, this study was designed to test the hypothesis that protein expression of PPARα and PPARγ is correlated with RAS activation in ACM.

Compared with controls, myocardial angiotensin (Ang) I, Ang II, and renin levels were progressively increased at 2, 4, and 6 months of alcohol intake. mRNA expression of renin, angiotensinogen, angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE), and AT1 was increased at 6 months. Moreover, activated RAS downregulated PPARα and upregulated PPARγ protein expression as ACM progressed. Finally, extracellular signal regulated kinase 1 and 2 (ERK1/2) was shown to play a key role in the regulation of protein expression of PPARα and PPARγ.

These results suggest that RAS is activated during the development of ACM. Moreover, ERK1/2 plays a key role in the regulation of protein expression of PPARα and PPARγ by RAS in ACM.

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Khama still battling alcohol

FRANCISTOWN: President Ian Khama has challenged the private sector to be 'proactive rather than reactive'.He was speaking at the 10th National Business Conference (NBC) going on at Tati River Lodge in Francistown where he conducted the official opening and devoted some time to the topic of alcohol.

He said the private sector was late in its recent interest in the challenge posed by alcohol abuse.

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Schedule-induced Polydipsia in Lines of Rats Selectively Bred for High and Low Ethanol Preference
Behavior Genetics September 09, 2008

Ethanol drinking was assessed in the P/NP, HAD1/LAD1, and HAD2/LAD2 lines of rats under environmental conditions that produce schedule-induced polydipsia.

Female rats (n = 8/line), maintained at 85% of free-feeding body weights, underwent daily 1-h sessions during which 45-mg food pellets were delivered every 60 s. Water, 2, 4, 8, 16, or 32% w/v ethanol solution was available from a single bottle for 8 consecutive sessions at each concentration, with blood-ethanol levels (BELs) determined after selected sessions.

P and HAD2 rats drank more water and ethanol than their non-preferring counterparts, while HAD1 and LAD1 rats did not differ. Ethanol intake and BELs were positively correlated (r = 0.75) across lines. Finally, rats were allowed 14 daily choice sessions with 8% ethanol and water concurrently available. Water intake generally exceeded ethanol intake in all lines, while P rats drank similar amounts of both fluids.

These line differences indicate pleiotropic effects of genes that mediate ethanol intake and schedule-induced behaviors.

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'Success' of under-21 alcohol ban is mere SNP spin, says professor

12 September 2008
LOCAL underage drinking crackdowns have provided no evidence that a national under-21 alcohol ban in shops and off-licences will reduce youth disorder, according to the country's top public health statistician.

Professor Sheila Bird, vice-president of the Royal Statistical Society, said it was "disappointing" that the Scottish Government's hugely controversial proposal had not been tested in properly controlled trials.
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Predictors of violence in young tourists: a comparative study of British, German and Spanish holidaymakers
The European Journal of Public Health Advance Access published online on September 10, 2008

International youth holiday resorts feature many of the key risk factors for violence, including large numbers of bars and nightclubs and high levels of substance use. However, little information currently exists on the extent of violence amongst holidaymakers or factors that increase risks of involvement in fights on holiday.

A cross-sectional comparative survey of 3003 British, German and Spanish holidaymakers aged 16–35 years, undertaken in the departure areas of Ibiza and Majorca (Spain) airports.

Nightlife was the most common reason for destination choice in both locations. Overall, more than half of participants reported drinking to drunkenness at least 2 days per week during their holiday (59.3% Majorca, 58.0% Ibiza; significantly lower in Spanish participants in both locations). Levels of illicit drug use were highest in Ibiza and in British and Spanish holidaymakers. Levels of violence were highest in Majorca, where 6.4% of participants reported involvement in a fight, compared with 2.8% in Ibiza. However, after controlling for confounding factors, holiday destination was not a significant predictor of violence.

Predictors of fighting were being male, young, British, frequent drunkenness and use of cannabis or cocaine during the holiday. Use of ecstasy on holiday was associated with not being involved in violence.

High levels of substance use contribute to violence being a relatively common feature of young people's visits to international holiday resorts. To protect the health and well-being of holidaymakers and local populations in popular resorts, violence and substance use prevention must adapt to an increasingly globalized nightlife.

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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Summer 2008 Number 16


1 Clinical Trials Must Register in NIH Site

2 Personnel News

3 NIH Announces Enhancements to Peer Review

3 NIH Summit: The Science of Eliminating Health Disparities

3 New Publications

4 Reaching Teens Through Science

4 Calendar of Events

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In letter to N.J. college presidents, Codey demands review of alcohol policies

by Ana M. Alaya/The Star-Ledger
Wednesday September 10, 2008

State Senate President Richard J. Codey sent a letter today to the presidents of every college in New Jersey, demanding details of their alcohol policies and announcing legislative hearings will be called this fall to explore underage drinking at their schools.

The move is in direct response to the "Amethyst Initiative," signed by 129 college presidents in what they say is a way of dealing with the long-standing problem of campus binge drinking.

So far, only three college presidents in New Jersey have signed on to the national initiative -- at Drew, Montclair State and Stevens Institute of Technology. Presidents of others, such as Ramapo, Rowan and William Paterson, have pointedly refused to do so. But Codey said the initiative is sending a "bad signal.

"They're clearly on the wrong track," he said. "It's almost as if they're throwing up the white flag and surrendering. Even to raise the specter that we should lower the drinking age to 18 is wrong."

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Whilst we are proud of the role that Diageo brands play in the
social lives and celebrations of many people,we also recognise
that, as with other products that can be abused, alcoholic
beverages may be consumed irresponsibly, creating problems
for the individual and for society as a whole.We seek to be at
the forefront of industry efforts to promote responsible drinking
and combat misuse.


Set world-class standards for responsible marketing and innovation

Our Marketing Code of Practice, applies across our business, which sets minimum standards for marketing and promotion of our products.The guidelines and global compliance requirements were updated in 2002.The code is embedded in our ways of working, of marketing and of innovation.

Promote a shared understanding of what it means to drink responsibly in order to reduce alcohol-related harm

We focus on four strategic priorities which include anti drinkdriving campaigns, support for programmes to combat under age drinking , initiatives to address binge drinking by young adults and retailer programmes such as server training.

We work with others in the industry through SAOs,with NGOs and other interested parties, as well as engaging our employees. as ambassadors.

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Montreal, September 9, 2008 – The first annual round of grants awarded for research, prevention and treatment of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) was today announced by Dr. Louise Nadeau, Professor at the Université de Montréal and Scientific Director of the Centre Dollard-Cormier, University Institute on Dependencies on behalf of the Canadian Foundation on Fetal Alcohol Research (CFFAR).

The announcement was made at the 9th Annual Fetal Alcohol Canadian Expertise (FACE) Research Roundtable on the occasion of International FASD day.

Created in September 2007 through a 5-year $1 Million commitment by the Brewers Association of Canada (BAC), the CFFAR is an independent, non-profit foundation created to promote interest and fund research related to the short and long-term biomedical, psychological and social effects of alcohol consumption during pregnancy, and the prevention of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders.
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Alcohol poisoning is a main determinant of recent mortality trends in Russia: evidence from a detailed analysis of mortality statistics and autopsies
IJE Advance Access published online on September 4, 2008

The changes in Russian mortality rates during the last two decades are unprecedented in a modern industrialized country. Although these fluctuations have attracted much interest, trends for major groups of causes of death have been analysed while trends in specific causes of death might shed light on the underlying determinants.

We analysed trends in total and cause-specific mortality in Russia for 1991–2006. The records of 24 836 forensic autopsies carried out during the period 1990–2004 in the city of Barnaul were analysed with respect to blood alcohol level.

Diseases of the circulatory system (in the age group 35–69 years) and external causes (in the age group 15–34 years) were the main contributors to the fluctuations in Russian mortality rates observed in 1991–2006. The largest relative changes were for conditions directly related to alcohol intake. Among cardiovascular diseases, fluctuations were due to ‘other forms’ of acute and chronic ischaemia, and to atherosclerotic heart disease, while rates of myocardial infarction were low and relatively constant. In the autopsy series a very high proportion of decedents whose death was attributed to ‘other’ or ‘not classified’ cardiovascular diseases had lethal or potentially lethal concentrations of ethanol in blood.

The increases in mortality in 1991–94 and in 1998–2003 coincided with economic and societal crisis, while decreases in 1994–98 and 2003–06 correlate with improvement in the economic situation. Excessive alcohol intake is a major cause of premature male Russian mortality, although many alcohol-related deaths are wrongly attributed to diseases of the circulatory system.

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News Release - UC College of Nursing to Introduce New Curriculum on Alcohol Use Disorders

CINCINNATI - Do you drink?

That question doesn't get you anywhere with patients. What if they say no?, says Christine Savage, PhD, associate professor and director of graduate health nursing at the University of Cincinnati (UC) College of Nursing.

Savage is the editor of a new set of Web-based curriculum modules on alcohol abuse and alcoholism on track for classroom use at UC in fall 2009 and at nursing schools across the country. The curriculum materials, geared toward the nursing profession, are being put together by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), which is an arm of the National Institutes of Health. NIAAA has similar curricula for colleges of medicine and social work.

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Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Over the limit

10 September 2008

Amid social unease about Britain's harmful relationship with alcohol, the government is under pressure to adopt price controls and stricter regulation

Events this autumn could have a crucial impact on the future of the UK drinks industry. Over the next few months, producers and retailers will find themselves arguing with governments in Westminster and Edinburgh against tough legislation aimed at curbing alcohol abuse.

While much of the focus will be on curbing under-age purchasing and the binge-drinking excesses of young people in city centres, the long-term health issues facing moderate drinkers are part of it, with the medical profession concerned that, as a nation, we are all drinking too much. Despite intensive public health campaigns, alcohol sales have risen again - by 1.8% over the previous year - after two years of falls, while alcohol is at least 65% more affordable than it was in 1980, according to the latest figures. Doctors, senior police officers and charities are calling on the government to act.

In the coming weeks, the industry will seek to convince sceptical ministers that improved self-regulation works and tough legislation will penalise millions who enjoy drinking responsibly. "Legislation is a sledgehammer that will not crack the nut," says a spokesman for the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA), which represents licensees and the managed pub chains, such as Mitchells and Butlers. "There needs to be the right balance between individual and corporate responsibility."

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Aripiprazole Effects on Alcohol Consumption and Subjective Reports in a Clinical Laboratory Paradigm—Possible Influence of Self-Control
Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research Published Online: 8 Sep 2008

There has been increasing interest in the use of medications that affect the dopamine receptor in the treatment of alcoholism. Aripiprazole has the unique pharmacology of being a partial dopamine agonist serving to stabilize brain dopamine systems in both frontal cortical and subcortical areas. As such, it might act to dampen alcohol reinforcement and craving and/or alter control over alcohol use.

The current clinical laboratory study was conducted to evaluate the safety and efficacy of aripiprazole as a potential agent to alter drinking and objective effects of alcohol.

Aripiprazole was well tolerated and reduced drinking in nontreatment seeking alcoholics over 6 days of natural drinking—especially in those with lower self control (more impulsive). It also reduced drinks in the bar-lab after a priming drink and broke the link between priming drink induced stimulation and further drinking. During the bar-lab drinking session, there were no differences in subjective high, intoxication, or craving between subjects treated with aripiprazole or placebo.

This study joins several others in demonstrating the utility of subacute dosing laboratory paradigms for evaluating medication effects in alcoholics. Aripiprazole was well tolerated and lowered alcohol use, especially in those with lower impulse control.

Further study is needed to determine the safety and utility of aripiprazole in the treatment of alcoholism and if subgroups of alcoholics are more likely to respond.

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Curbing Binge Drinking Takes Group Effort

Published: September 8, 2008

Of all the advice parents give to children heading off to college, warnings about alcohol — and especially about abusing alcohol — may be the most important. At most colleges, whether and how much students drink can make an enormous difference, not just in how well they do in school, but even whether they live or die.

Every state has a minimum drinking age of 21, and the vast majority of college students are younger than that. Yet drinking, and in particular drinking to get drunk, remains a major health and social problem on campuses. Car crashes and other accidental injuries, sexual assaults, fights, community violence, academic failure and deaths from an overdose of alcohol are among the consequence.
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Metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 (mGluR5) regulation of ethanol sedation, dependence and consumption: relationship to acamprosate actions
The International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology (2008), 11: 775-793

Recent studies have demonstrated that metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 (mGluR5) antagonists decrease alcohol self-administration and suggest that the anti-craving medication, acamprosate, may also act to decrease mGluR5 function.

To address the role of mGluR5 in behavioural actions of ethanol and acamprosate, we compared mutant mice with deletion of the mGluR5 gene and mice treated with a mGluR5 antagonist (MPEP) or acamprosate.

Lack of mGluR5 or administration of MPEP reduced the severity of alcohol-induced withdrawal (AW), increased the sedative effect of alcohol (duration of loss of righting reflex; LORR), and increased basal motor activity. The motor stimulation produced by ethanol was blocked by deletion of mGluR5, but not by injection of MPEP. Both acamprosate and MPEP increased ethanol-induced LORR and reduced AW.

Importantly, the protective effects of both MPEP and acamprosate on AW were found when the drugs were injected before, but not after, injection of ethanol. This indicates that the drugs prevented development of dependence rather than merely producing an anticonvulsant action. No effects of acamprosate or MPEP on ethanol-induced LORR and AW were found in mGluR5 knockout mice, demonstrating that mGluR5 is required for these actions. mGluR5 null mutant mice showed decreased alcohol consumption in some, but not all, tests.

These data show the importance of mGluR5 for several actions of alcohol and support the hypothesis that some effects of acamprosate require mGluR5 signalling.

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Metabotropic glutamate 5 receptors regulate sensitivity to ethanol in mice
The International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology (2008), 11: 765-774

The metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 (mGlu5) has been implicated in ethanol- and drug-seeking behaviours in rodent studies.

Here we examine a number of ethanol-related behavioural assays in mice lacking mGlu5 and wild-type littermates.

In a two-bottle free-choice paradigm, mGlu5-deficient mice consumed less ethanol with a reduced preference compared to wild-type mice.

Indeed, mGlu5-deficienct mice were ethanol-avoiding at both concentrations of ethanol proffered (5% and 10% v/v). However, there was no difference in the rate of hepatic ethanol and acetaldehyde metabolism between genotypes and consumption of saccharin was similar. In a conditioned place preference study, mGlu5-deficient mice displayed a place preference for ethanol when conditioned with a low dose (1 g/kg), a phenomenon not observed in wild-type littermates, suggesting increased sensitivity to the rewarding effects of ethanol in mutant mice.

Finally, mGlu5-deficient mice were more sensitive to ethanol-induced hypnosis at a high dose (3.5 g/kg) of ethanol. Thus, while mGlu5-deficient mice consume less ethanol (with a reduced preference) than wild-type mice, this is not apparently related to impaired hepatic metabolism or a lack of reward from ethanol.

Rather, we provide evidence that deletion of the mGlu5 receptor increases sensitivity to centrally mediated effects of ethanol.

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Botswana president may halt tax on alcohol

Posted Monday, September 8 2008

President Ian Khama’s close advisers are reportedly close to convincing him to abandon his crusade against alcohol because it might affect the ruling party’s performance in general elections next year, but, the proposal is unlikely to succeed given the president’s comments on Monday.

The Sunday Standard reported that President Khama is likely to abandon his quest to introduce a controversial 70 per cent levy on alcohol to punish drinkers after advice from his close confidantes.

Mr Khama announced the levy this year and vowed to increase it should it fail to curb excessive drinking. The levy was supposed to take effect last month but was deferred after a national outcry.

The paper reported that even if the levy is introduced, it will not be the original 70 per cent.

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September 8th, 2008

HARRISBURG – To help people learn about preventable birth defects associated with drinking alcohol during pregnancy, the Department of Health today launched “Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Awareness Week.”

Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, or FASD, is an umbrella term that describes the nation’s leading category of preventable birth defects and developmental disabilities that include: fetal alcohol syndrome; partial fetal alcohol syndrome; alcohol-related neurodevelopment disorder; and alcohol-related birth defects.
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Ban on selling alcohol to under-21s sparks crime row

By Simon Johnson, Scottish Political Editor
08 Sep 2008

A major row has erupted over claims by SNP ministers that a pilot scheme banning the sale of alcohol to under-21s resulted in a sharp drop in crime and antisocial behaviour.

The Scottish Executive hailed the results of the trial, which it said led to the number of serious assaults and breaches of the peace plummeting.

But opposition parties denounced the claims as "propaganda" after it emerged that, at the same time as the pilot, police had used their existing powers to launch a major crackdown on retailers selling alcohol to underage children.

The Daily Telegraph revealed yesterday that the Executive is facing a growing public backlash against its draconian plans to tackle Scotland's alcohol problem, a consultation on which shuts today.

Among the other proposals are introducing a minimum price of 35p per unit, to increase the cost of cheap lager and cider, banning promotions and installing alcohol-only checkouts, thereby forcing shoppers to queue twice.

However, one of the most controversial elements is banning under-21s from buying alcohol from shops and supermarkets, although allowing over-18s to continue drinking in pubs.

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McLeish calls for a wider debate on alcohol and crime

9th september 2008

THE head of the Scottish Prisons Commission yesterday called for a national debate on the place of alcohol in society, describing the level of drink-related crime as "shocking".

Henry McLeish admitted he was "embarrassed" by the absence of drunks on the street during a fact-finding visit to New York, in contrast to Scotland.
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Culture of intoxication

  • John Fitzgerald
  • September 9, 2008

The law-and-order policy to tackle alcohol-related violence is not working, writes John Fitzgerald.

SHOULD a death caused by alcohol and violence produce shame and dismay for our Government or is it something that we should expect from time to time? Is there a threshold for acceptable levels of community intoxication beyond which the Government should rightly say enough is enough?

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Conference - Alcohol the Debate 2008

Hosted in partnership with John Moores University and chaired by Professor Mark Bellis, Director of Public Health at LJMU.

DATE: Thursday 6th November 2008

VENUE: The Liner Hotel, Liverpool (Capital of Culture 2008)

PRICE: Standard price �225 plus VAT.

Themes for the Conference:

Alcohol and Young People, Alcohol and Health, Alcohol and Public Safety, Responsible Alcohol Industry, Role of Government and Alcohol and Housing.

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News Release - Over 21 alcohol pilot


A pilot scheme in central Scotland has revealed more evidence that an over-21s off-sales policy could help cut crime and antisocial behaviour if extended nationwide.

On the eve of the consultation on tackling alcohol misuse closing, Public Health Minister Shona Robison visited Stenhousemuir to learn more about the 'Stop the Supply' project, which has been operating in the Central Scotland police force area.

Operating since April in Larbert and Stenhousemuir, the project has seen calls to police about anti-social behaviour fall by 40 per cent. Between April and June, compared to the corresponding period last year, breaches of the peace also fell by nearly 40 per cent, minor assaults by nearly 30 per cent and serious assaults by 60 per cent.

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Asia-Pacific Alcohol Forum

The International Center for Alcohol Policies (ICAP) Asia-Pacific Alcohol Forum was held in Singapore on 26-27 June 2008. More than 100 participants from 15 countries participated in the Forum, representing government ministries (health, finance, transport, education and youth, and culture, sport, and tourism), public health organizations, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and the alcohol beverage industry and trade associations. A list of participants is attached in Annex 1.

The Forum, which ICAP plans to hold on a regular basis in the Asia-Pacific region, provided a valuable occasion for participants to discuss regional and international initiatives aimed at tackling alcohol-related harm, to address knowledge gaps, and to explore integrated approaches that can support effective, efficient, and sustainable implementation of alcohol policies and targeted interventions.

Key Forum objectives were to strengthen the regional knowledge base by drawing upon best practices and to provide a regional Forum for exchanging information on areas of shared interest. ICAP recognizes that strategies and interventions addressing alcohol misuse must be considered and implemented in a way that takes into account different practices in the Asia-Pacific region and in each individual country. Many participants acknowledged that the ICAP Forum provided an avenue for establishing a regional resource for balanced information and analysis on alcohol-related issues. It also afforded opportunities for developing partnership among different sectors and countries

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Call for England to aid youth drinks ban

MacAskill seeks help to stop alcohol warehouses being set up on border

Scotland is calling on Westminster for help in implementing controversial plans to ban off-sale drinks to under-21s in an attempt to curb alcohol abuse across the country.

Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill has admitted that, without support from the UK government, radical moves to rein in irresponsible drinking in Scotland will be difficult to impose. But he has vowed that the Scottish parliament would not be dissuaded from pressing ahead with the proposals, which have been condemned as 'ludicrous' and 'ridiculous' by opposition MSPs and representatives from the drinks trade.

In particular, he said help was essential in preventing the setting up of huge distribution hangars near the Scottish border, as well as stopping internet sales or lorries from England bearing three-for-two deals that could be outlawed.

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Modulation of the cortical processing of novel and target stimuli by drugs affecting glutamate and GABA neurotransmission
The International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology Early View Published online by Cambridge University Press 04 Sep 2008
In this double-blind, placebo-controlled study, we examined the effects of subanaesthetic doses of ketamine (an NMDA glutamate receptor antagonist) and thiopental (a GABA-A receptor agonist) on the event-related potential (ERP) correlates of deviant stimulus processing in 24 healthy adults.

Participants completed three separate pharmacological challenge sessions (ketamine, thiopental, saline) in a counterbalanced order. EEG data were recorded both before and during each challenge while participants performed a visual ‘oddball’ task consisting of infrequent ‘target’ and ‘novel’ stimuli intermixed with frequent ‘standard’ stimuli.

We examined drug effects on the amplitude and latency of the P300 (P3) component of the ERP elicited by target (P3b) and novel stimuli (P3a), as well as the N200 (N2) component elicited by both target and novel stimuli, and the N100 (N1) elicited by standard stimuli.

Relative to placebo, both drugs reduced the amplitude of parietal P3b. While both drugs reduced parietal P3a and Novelty N2, ketamine also shortened P3a latency, reduced Novelty N2 amplitude more than thiopental, and increased frontal P3a amplitude relative to placebo.

Overall, the data suggest that both the GABA-A and NMDA receptor systems modulate P3b and P3a. NMDA antagonism appears to lead to more varied effects on the neural correlates of novelty processing.

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Monday, September 8, 2008

Effects of ethanol and3,4methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) alone or in combination on spontaneous and evoked overflow of dopamine, serotonin and acetylcholine in striatal slices of the rat brain
The International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology (2008), 11:743-763

Ethanol (EtOH) potentiates the locomotor effects of 3,4-methylenedioxymetamphetamine (MDMA) in rats. This potentiation might involve pharmacokinetic and/or pharmacodynamic mechanisms.

We explored whether the latter could be local. Using a slice superfusion approach, we assessed the effects of MDMA (0.3, 3 μm) and/or EtOH (2‰, corresponding to 34.3 mm) on the spontaneous outflow and electrically evoked release of serotonin (5-HT), dopamine (DA) and acetylcholine (ACh) in the striatum, and for comparison, on 5-HT release in hippocampal and neocortical tissue.

MDMA and less effectively EtOH, augmented the outflow of 5-HT in all regions. The electrically evoked 5-HT release was increased by MDMA at 3 μm in striatal slices only. With nomifensine throughout, EtOH significantly potentiated the 0.3 μm MDMA-induced outflow of 5-HT, but only in striatal slices. EtOH or MDMA also enhanced the spontaneous outflow of DA, but MDMA reduced the electrically evoked DA release.

With fluvoxamine throughout superfusion, EtOH potentiated the effect of MDMA on the spontaneous outflow of DA. Finally, 3 μm MDMA diminished the electrically evoked release of ACh, an effect involving several receptors (D2, 5-HT2, NMDA, nicotinic, NK1), with some interactions with EtOH.

Among other results, we show for the first time a local synergistic interaction of EtOH and MDMA on the spontaneous outflow of striatal DA and 5-HT, which could be relevant to the EtOH-induced potentiation of hyperlocomotion in MDMA-treated rats.

These data do not preclude the contribution of other pharmacodynamic and/or pharmacokinetic mechanisms in vivo but support the hypothesis that EtOH may affect the abuse liability of MDMA

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