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.


Monday, December 31, 2012

Extension of Negative Binomial GARCH Model

Traditional crash count models, such as the Poisson and negative binomial models, do not account for the temporal correlation of crash data. In reality, crashes that occur in the same time frame are likely to share unobserved effects that may have been excluded from the model.

If the temporal correlation of crash data is ignored, the estimated parameters can be biased and less precise. Therefore, there is a need to extend the standard crash count data models by incorporating temporal dependence.

Whereas the literature for modeling time series count data is well developed, its applications for traffic crash data are limited. A particularly flexible model for the time series of counts is the negative binomial integer-valued generalized autoregressive conditional heteroscedastic (NBINGARCH) model, which properly accounts for the overdispersion, nonnegativity, and integer-valued features of count data.

In this paper, the NBINGARCH model is extended to incorporate covariates so that the relationship between a time series of counts and correlated external factors may be properly modeled.

The improved performance of the NBINGARCH model is demonstrated through a simulation study and an application to monthly driving under the influence (DUI) fatal crashes in Texas between 2003 and 2009.

In addition, the relationship between monthly vehicle miles traveled (VMT) and gasoline prices in Texas is also examined. Ultimately, gasoline prices had no significant effect on DUI fatal crashes in Texas during that time period, and VMT had a positive effect.

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Mechanistic insights of intestinal absorption and renal conservation of folate in chronic alcoholism

Folate mediated one-carbon metabolism is of fundamental importance for various cellular processes, including DNA synthesis and methylation of biological molecules. Due to the exogenous requirement of folate in mammals, there exists a well developed epithelial folate transport system for regulation of normal folate homeostasis. The intestinal and renal folate uptake is tightly and diversely regulated and disturbances in folate homeostasis like in alcoholism have pathological consequences.

The study was sought to delineate the regulatory mechanism of folate uptake in intestine and reabsorption in renal tubular cells that could evaluate insights of malabsorption during alcoholism.

The folate transporters PCFT and RFC were found to be associated with lipid rafts of membrane surfaces in intestine and kidney. Importantly, the observed lower intestinal and renal folate uptake was associated with decreased levels of folate transporter viz. PCFT and RFC in lipid rafts of intestinal and renal membrane surfaces. The decreased association of folate transporters in lipid rafts was associated with decreased protein and mRNA levels. In addition, immunohistochemical studies showed that alcoholic conditions deranged that localization of PCFT and RFC.

These findings could explain the possible mechanistic insights that may result in folate malabsorption during alcoholism.

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Alcohol News - last in 2012

Daily Nation (Kenya) - Alcohol turning our children into zombies!

Up to the late 1970s, it was rare to encounter a young man staggering home or lying by the roadside dead drunk. These days, it is more common to spot young people in a drunken stupor than elderly persons.

Independent Online (South Africa) - 'Alcohol the enemy of all drivers'

Transport authorities have slated drivers for continuing to drive while under the influence of liquor, saying 60-65 percent of all road fatalities, specially those over weekends, are as a result of alcohol abuse by drivers.

Liverpool Echo (UK) - Liverpool named one of country’s alcohol abuse capitals

LIVERPOOL was named one of the worst cities in the country for alcohol abuse for the third successive year. As thousands head out to bars and clubs to welcome in the New Year tonight, the ECHO can reveal more people were admitted to hospital because of alcohol here than anywhere else in the country – except for Manchester.

Indian Express (UK) - Middle-aged women consuming more alcohol than teen daughters

Middle-aged professional women are drinking more alcohol than their daughters, according to official figures.

Gizmodo Australia (Australia) - What Happens When You Get Alcohol Poisoning?

As regular Happy Hour readers know, there’s nothing we like more than finding new, innovative and fun approaches to drinking. But there’s a darker side that must be acknowledged. Specifically, you can poison yourself and die.

Huffington Post - The Effects Of Alcohol In The Body (INFOGRAPHIC)

Most of us know that drinking too much can lead to car accidents, addictions or worse. We know drinking a little can make us giggly or weepy, lose our balance or lose our lunch, feel ravenously hungry the morning after or want nothing more than to be still in a dark room until that terrible pounding subsides.

The Bay of Plenty Times (New Zealand) - Police plan hard line on alcohol

Police will be taking a hard line on alcohol at New Year celebrations tonight but they predict a relatively orderly night in contrast to the chaos they encountered more than a decade ago when riots broke out in Mount Maunganui.

Kyiv Post (Ukraine) - Regions Party MPs suggest ban on alcohol sale at night

Members of Parliament from the Regions Party faction Iryna Berezhna and Andriy Pinchuk suggest that the sale of beer, alcoholic beverages and low-alcohol drinks should be banned in Ukraine from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. except for at restaurants and cafés.

The Daily Telegraph (Australia) - Editorial: Governments cannot afford to ignore alcohol abuse

INEVITABLY it will be decried in some quarters as yet another example of the nanny state in full flow. Yet basic common sense dictates that if governments have a responsibility for the health of their citizens then alcohol abuse cannot be ignored. (USA) - Study: Alcohol Culture Taking Toll

Thomas Brennan was still unloading his bags at his first duty station when he saw the other Marines drinking on the catwalks.

RT (Russia) - Russians to drink 1.5bn liters of alcohol over New Year holidays

If all the bottles of alcohol drunk by Russians during the upcoming 10-day holidays were put on the equator, they’d wrap the globe 17 times. Defying stereotypes, statistics say vodka is no longer the nation’s favorite strong alcohol drink.

Kyiv Post (Russia) - Russian alcohol preferences not changing, vodka, beer still tops

Russians' preferences in alcoholic beverages are not changing, and vodka and beer are still top of the heap, as evidenced by Federal State Statistics Service (Rosstat) figures for January-November released on Saturday.

euronews (Poland) - Several die in Poland after drinking poisoned alcohol

A seventh person is believed to have died in Poland as a result of drinking contaminated alcohol.

Middle East Online (Tunisia) - Islamist-led Tunisia to raise alcohol duty

The Islamist-led ruling coalition in Tunisia raised alcohol duty on Wednesday in a bid to bolster state coffers despite criticism from rival Islamists that it was wrong to profit from an activity prohibited by the faith.

Futurity: Research News - Lasting impact from alcohol exposure in utero

Even low levels of prenatal alcohol exposure impact brain development and the effects persist into adulthood, new research suggests.

The Hindu (India) - Most accidents on New Year day are due to drunken driving, say police

R. Vinod Kumar (25), a cab driver and a resident of Murphy Town, was returning home from M.G. Road with his friend after ushering in the New Year last year. His motorcycle hit a car and Kumar sustained severe head injuries. He died on the way to hospital.

Scotsman (Scotland) - Minister in last-minute plea over alcohol pricing

The health secretary yesterday made a last-minute attempt to persuade health ministers in the European Union to back his plan for a minimum unit price for alcohol.

French Tribune (France) - Four-Fifth of the College Engaged in Alcohol Consumption

As reported by the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, alcohol drinking has become a very big problem among the college students.

Greek Reporter (Greece) - Alcohol Tax Hike Cuts Greek Sales

Just as increased taxes on restaurants and bars have driven down sales and revenues, a big hike in taxes on alcoholic drinks in Greece in a desperate bid to raise money has also backfired, sending tax revenues down and cutting consumption in half.

Courier Mail - Alcohol companies market to children on Facebook and internet

ALCOHOL companies are avoiding restrictions on marketing to children by using Facebook and the internet, with authorities investigating whether advertising codes need to be overhauled. (Russia) - Beer to become 'alcohol' in Russia on New Year's Day

Many Russians consider beer a soft drink – a light refresher that can be guzzled on the way to work or sucked down in great quantities before a picnic and a swim in the river.


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Actual and Perceived Units of Alcohol in a Self-Defined “Usual Glass” of Alcoholic Drinks in England

Several studies have found participants pour more than 1 standard drink or unit as their usual glass. This is the first study to measure actual and perceived amounts of alcohol in a self-defined usual glass of wines and spirits in the general population.

Participants were a convenience sample of adults who drink alcohol or who pour drinks for other people (n = 283, 54% women) at 6 sites in South East England. The survey was face to face and comprised a self-completion questionnaire and pouring task. Estimation accuracy, categorised as correct (±0.5 units), underestimate (>0.5 units), or overestimate (>0.5 units) was the main outcome.

The mean number of units poured was 1.90 (SD 0.80; n = 264) for wine and 1.93 (SD 0.78; n = 201) for spirits. The amount of alcohol in a self-defined usual glass was estimated in 440 glasses (248 wine and 192 spirits). Overestimation took place in 42% glasses of spirit poured and 29% glasses of wine poured, and underestimation in 17 and 19%, respectively. Multinomial logistic regression found volume poured to be significantly associated with underestimating both wines and spirits, and additionally for wine only, belonging to a non-white ethnic group and being unemployed or retired. Not having a university degree was significantly associated with overestimating both drink types.

This study is the first in the general population and did not identify systematic underestimation of the amount of alcohol in a self-defined usual glass. Underestimation is significantly associated with volume poured for both drink types; therefore, advocating pouring smaller glasses could reduce underestimation of alcohol consumption.

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Local Changes in Neurosteroid Levels in the Substantia Nigra Reticulata and the Ventral Tegmental Area Alter Chronic Ethanol Withdrawal Severity in Male Withdrawal Seizure-Prone Mice

Allopregnanolone (ALLO) is a potent positive modulator of γ-aminobutyric acidA receptors (GABAARs) that affects ethanol (EtOH) withdrawal. Finasteride (FIN), a 5α-reductase inhibitor that blocks the formation of ALLO and other GABAergic neurosteroids, alters EtOH sensitivity. Recently, we found that Withdrawal Seizure-Prone mice from the first genetic replicate (WSP-1) exhibited behavioral tolerance to the anticonvulsant effect of intrahippocampal ALLO during EtOH withdrawal and that intrahippocampal FIN significantly increased EtOH withdrawal severity. The purpose of this study was to determine whether neurosteroid manipulations in the substantia nigra reticulata (SNR) and ventral tegmental area (VTA) produced effects during EtOH withdrawal comparable to those seen with intrahippocampal ALLO and FIN.

Male WSP-1 mice were surgically implanted with bilateral guide cannulae aimed at the SNR or VTA at 2 weeks prior to EtOH vapor or air exposure for 72 hours. Initial studies examined the anticonvulsant effect of a single ALLO infusion (0, 100, or 400 ng/side) at a time corresponding to peak withdrawal in the air- and EtOH-exposed mice. Separate studies examined the effect of 4 FIN infusions (0 or 10 μg/side/d) during the development of physical dependence on the expression of EtOH withdrawal.

ALLO infusion exerted a potent anticonvulsant effect in EtOH-naïve mice, but a diminished anticonvulsant effect during EtOH withdrawal. Administration of FIN into the SNR exerted a delayed proconvulsant effect in EtOH-naïve mice, whereas infusion into the VTA increased EtOH withdrawal duration.

Activation of local GABAARs in the SNR and VTA via ALLO infusion is sufficient to exert an anticonvulsant effect in naïve mice and to produce behavioral tolerance to the anticonvulsant effect of ALLO infusion during EtOH withdrawal. Thus, EtOH withdrawal reduced sensitivity of GABAARs to GABAergic neurosteroids in 2 neuroanatomical substrates within the basal ganglia in WSP-1 male mice.

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Motives to Drink or Not to Drink: Longitudinal Relations Among Personality, Motives, and Alcohol Use Across Adolescence and Early Adulthood

Adolescent selective intervention programs for alcohol have focused on the identification of youth at risk as a function of personality and associated alcohol-related cognitions. Research into the role of personality, drinking motivations, and alcohol-related outcomes has generally focused exclusively on motives to drink. We expand on this literature by focusing on both motives to drink and motives not to drink across time from adolescence to early adulthood in a community sample.

Using 3 waves of data from 3 cohorts from the Rutgers Health and Human Development Project (n = 1,380; 49.4% women), we modeled the influence of baseline alcohol consumption, disinhibition (DIS), and harm avoidance (ages 15, 18, and 21 years) on drinking motives and motives not to drink 3 years later (ages 18, 21, and 24 years) and alcohol use and drinking-related problems 7 years subsequently (ages 25, 28, and 31 years).

Path analytic models were relatively invariant across cohort. Across cohorts, DIS and baseline alcohol consumption related to later positive reinforcement drinking motives, but less consistency was found for the prediction of negative reinforcement motives to drink. While positive reinforcement motives were associated with greater alcohol consumption and problems 7 years later, negative reinforcement motives were generally associated with problems alone. Positive reinforcement motives for drinking mediated relations between baseline consumption and later consumption. However, results were mixed when considering DIS as a predictor and drinking problems as an outcome. Similarly, personality and baseline consumption related to later motives not to drink and such motives predicted subsequent alcohol-related problems. However, mediation was not generally supported for pathways through motives to abstain.

The results of this study replicate and extend previous longitudinal findings with youth and add to the growing literature on motivations not to engage in alcohol use.

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Investigating the Influence of Prenatal Androgen Exposure and Sibling Effects on Alcohol Use and Alcohol Use Disorder in Females from Opposite-Sex Twin Pairs

There are robust sex differences for alcohol phenotypes, with men reporting more drinking and alcohol use disorder (AUD) symptoms than women. However, the sources of these effects are not completely understood. Sex hormones, a substantial biological sex difference, exert neurobehavioral influences and are candidates for influencing sex differences in alcohol phenotypes. This study investigated the effects of prenatal androgens based on the hypothesis of prenatal hormone transfer, which posits that hormones from one twin influence the development of a cotwin.

This study compared female twins from opposite-sex (OSF) and same-sex (SSF) pairs to investigate associations between prenatal androgens and alcohol phenotypes. Additional analyses distinguished prenatal and postnatal effects by comparing OSFs and SSFs with a close-in-age older (CAO) brother.

OSFs endorsed more lifetime AUD symptoms than SSFs (d = 0.14). Females with a CAO brother reported greater intoxication frequency (d = 0.35), hangover frequency (d = 0.24), typical drinking quantity (d = 0.33), and max drinks (i.e., the most drinks ever consumed in a 24-hour period; d = 0.29). Controlling for postnatal effects, OSFs still endorsed more lifetime AUD symptoms than SSFs with a CAO brother (d = 0.16).

Prenatal exposure to a male cotwin was associated with increases in AUD symptoms, above the effect of postnatal exposure to a male sibling. Prenatal exposure to a male cotwwas not associated with increases in other alcohol-related phenotypes, but postnatal exposure to older male siblings produced medium effect sizes for indicators of alcohol consumption. Sex differences in AUDs, but not alcohol use, may be partially due to the neurodevelopmental effects of prenatal androgens. However, sibling effects may be larger than any 
effect of prenatal androgen exposure.

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Monday, December 24, 2012

The Redistribution of Power: Neurocardiac Signaling, Alcohol and Gender

Human adaptability involves interconnected biological and psychological control processes that determine how successful we are in meeting internal and environmental challenges. Heart rate variability (HRV), the variability in consecutive R-wave to R-wave intervals (RRI) of the electrocardiogram, captures synergy between the brain and cardiovascular control systems that modulate adaptive responding. 

Here we introduce a qualitatively new dimension of adaptive change in HRV quantified as a redistribution of spectral power by applying the Wasserstein distance with exponent 1 metric (W1) to RRI spectral data. We further derived a new index, D, to specify the direction of spectral redistribution and clarify physiological interpretation. 

We examined gender differences in real time RRI spectral power response to alcohol, placebo and visual cue challenges. 

Adaptive changes were observed as changes in power of the various spectral frequency bands (i.e., standard frequency domain HRV indices) and, during both placebo and alcohol intoxication challenges, as changes in the structure (shape) of the RRI spectrum, with a redistribution towards lower frequency oscillations.

The overall conclusions from the present study are that the RRI spectrum is capable of a fluid and highly flexible response, even when oscillations (and thus activity at the sinoatrial node) are pharmacologically suppressed, and that low frequency oscillations serve a crucial but less studied role in physical and mental health.

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Alcohol News - 52/2012

Statistics Finland (Finland) - Alcohol-related causes of death are decreasing
Alcohol-related causes have been for several years among the most common causes of death for both men and women, and the figures are high for the whole population as well. Alcohol-related deaths include both alcohol-related diseases and accidental poisoning by alcohol.
Yle Uutiset (Finland) - TS: Theme parks threatened with alcohol ban
Theme parks in Finland could in the future find it more difficult to get a license to serve alcohol if a legislative proposal is approved by parliament.
Göteborg Daily (Sweden) - Alcohol boom gate can be tested in Gothenburg
Swedish police will trial automated alcohol testing in a bid to reduce the number of alcohol affected truck drivers coming in on the ferries. Gothenburg is one of several locations being considered, according to P4 Göteborg.
The Foriegner (Norway) - Duty-free system to be spirited away
The Norwegian State has decided to try to stop what they call the “smuggling” of alcohol upon returning to this country. According to the Norwegian Telegram Bureau (NTB), the paper ticket’s demise has meant passengers have been able to obtain a double-quota, as proof of travel is now electronic instead.
Circumpolar Health (Greenland) - Alcohol in Greenland 1951-2010: consumption, mortality, prices
The effect of alcohol excise taxes and rationing upon consumption is evident. The stabilisation and subsequent decline in consumption since the mid-1990s, while alcohol prices decreased persistently, does not preclude continued effects of prices.
Skemman (Iceland) - Regrets after alcohol consumption following the 2008 financial crisis in Iceland: A prospective cohort study
In a prospective Icelandic cohort, our findings indicate that regrets after drinking decreased following the economic recession in 2008; specifically for males, those who were married or cohabiting, employed or with a university education.
Reuters UK (China) - Moutai shares lead alcohol tumble after China bans spirits from army feasts
Chinese distiller Kweichow Moutai Co Ltd 6000519.SS led a tumble in the country's alcohol sector on Monday after Beijing banned its top brass from hosting boozy banquets while working, Communist Party chief Xi Jinping's latest anti-corruption move. - Expanding waistlines may be due to alcohol
Those who can't lose weight despite exercising and cutting back on high-calorie food may be drinking too many calories from beverages, a U.S. dietitian says.
Payvand (Iran) - Deaths from alcohol soar in Iran
ISNA reported on Sunday December 23 that recent statistics show 92 men and nine women lost their lives due to alcohol poisoning in the past seven months, which indicates an increase of over 100 percent compared to last year.
Times of India (India) - Govt plans to introduce a sin tax to curb use of alcohol, tobacco
India has mooted the introduction of a designated "sin tax" to finance a part of the health budget during the 12th five year plan (2012-2017).
The Daily Telegraph (Australia) - Mixing alcohol and drugs a troubling trend
Just after midnight a 27-year-old man who had drunk a bottle of bourbon and five beers came to the emergency department with chest pain. In emergency medicine we have to worry about the worst possibility. (USA) - Government board calls for alcohol detectors in all cars
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) December 19 called for the development of passive alcohol-detection technology in cars and trucks to achieve "zero alcohol-impaired driving-related deaths."
Hindustan Times (India) - More girls experimenting with drugs, alcohol
A girl in her early twenties was admitted to a private hospital in SAS Nagar in an unconscious state about a week ago. She had mixed her alcoholic drink with a sedative, which caused difficulty in breathing and made her unconscious.
Radio Australia (Philippines) - Philippines attacks 'vices' with tobacco, alcohol tax raise
The Philippines on Thursday raised tobacco and alcohol taxes in a reform President Benigno Aquino hailed as helping to liberate "more Filipinos from the vices of smoking and drinking".
Solomon Star (Solomon Islands) - CURSE OF ALCOHOL - It’s the leading cause of traffic accidents here
ALCOHOL is the leading cause of traffic accidents during festive seasons in the last 12 years, statistics released yesterday revealed.
WINE club members will be among those breaking the law under legislation planned by the SNP Government – if they take advantage of cut-price offers delivered from English warehouses.
Bangkok Post (Indonesia) - Indonesia considers total alcohol ban
Indonesian lawmakers are pushing for a ban on all alcoholic beverages throughout the archipelago that would see drinkers punished with up to two years in jail.
Medical Xpress - Excessive alcohol when you're young could have lasting impacts on your brain
Alcohol misuse in young people causes significant changes in their brain function and structure. This and other findings were recently reviewed by Dr Daniel Hermens from the University of Sydney's Brain and Mind Research Institute in the journal Cortex.
Taranaki Daily News (New Zealand) - Alcohol harm has important implications for Maori
With Christmas and New Year's celebrations approaching it's timely that we focus on the issues that contribute to binge drinking, drink-driving and the disastrous consequences for our communities. - How Age of Onset Predicts Drug and Alcohol Dependency
Transmissible risk refers to generational risk or family risk. Some people have a family history of physical or mental health problems, which makes them more vulnerable to developing the same problems.
Times of India (India) - WHO suggests raising liquor price to curb violence against women
Even as the national Capital remains shell shocked over the gruesome rape of the 23-year-old, the World Health Organization (WHO) has suggested clamping down on alcohol availability and raising liquor price to reduce its consumption as an important intervention to reduce violence both sexual and physical against women.

Smoking or Alcohol Dependence Among Indigenous Australians: Treatment May Be Needed, Not Just Education

In trying to help Aboriginal and Torres Strait
 Islander (Indigenous) individuals or communities to stop smoking or reduce the harms from alcohol, it is important to be aware of the strong biological basis of the drive to return to nicotine or alcohol.

In this paper we briefly describe the social and neurobiological factors that drive a dependent smoker or drinker to keep using. We set out the current range of pharmacological treatments for dependence, their role in assisting a person to either stop using or avoid relapse, and we discuss issues relating to their use in Aboriginal Australians.

There is a firm evidence base for the use of pharmacological treatments for nicotine or alcohol dependence, particularly in severe dependence or when counselling or non-pharmacological approaches have failed. Indigenous Australians should be able to access the full range of approaches to managing these conditions. Working in partnership with Indigenous health staff and agencies can help ensure that appropriate access to treatment and quality treatment delivery occurs.

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A comparison of the anticipated and pharmacological effects of alcohol on cognitive bias, executive function, craving and ad-lib drinking

Acute alcohol administration alters automatic processing of alcohol-related cues, impairs executive functions and increases alcohol seeking. Few studies have investigated the effects of expecting to receive alcohol on these measures. 

Thirty-one social drinkers completed three experimental sessions receiving either 0.65 g/kg alcohol, a placebo and a control beverage (which they knew was not alcoholic) before reporting craving and completing a test battery including a measure of automatic alcohol-approach tendencies (stimulus response compatibility task), a measure of executive function (Controlled Oral Word Association Task (COWAT)) and a taste test assessing ad-lib drinking. 

Results indicated that alcohol administration impaired performance on the COWAT and increased ad-lib drinking; however, there were no significant differences on these measures after administration of placebo versus control beverages. Craving was increased after alcohol and (to a lesser extent) after placebo. Automatic alcohol-approach tendencies were pronounced after both alcohol and placebo compared to the control beverage, with no difference between alcohol and placebo. 

Results suggest craving is sensitive to the anticipated and pharmacological effects of alcohol, alcohol-approach tendencies are particularly sensitive to the anticipated effects of alcohol, and measures of executive function and ad-lib drinking are affected by the pharmacological, but not the anticipated, effects of alcohol.

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A flicker change blindness task employing eye tracking reveals an association with levels of craving not consumption

We investigated attentional biases with a flicker paradigm, examining the proportion of alcohol relative to neutral changes detected. Furthermore, we examined how measures of the participants initial orienting of attention and of their maintained attention relate to levels of alcohol consumption and subjective craving in social drinkers.

The eye movements of 58 participants (24 male) were monitored whilst they completed a flicker-induced change blindness task using both simple stimuli and real world scenes, with both an alcohol and neutral change competing for detection. 

When examined in terms of consumption levels, we observed that heavier social drinkers detected a higher proportion of alcohol related changes in real world scenes only. However, we also observed that levels of craving were not indicative of levels of consumption in social drinkers. Furthermore, also in real world scenes only, higher cravers detected a greater proportion of alcohol related changes compared to lower cravers, and were also quicker to initially fixate on alcohol related stimuli. 

Thus we conclude that processing biases in the orienting of attention to alcohol related stimuli were demonstrated in higher craving compared to lower craving social users in real world scenes. However, this was not related to the level of consumption as would be expected. 

These results highlight various methodological and conceptual issues to be considered in future research. 

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FASD News - 51/2012

Regina Leader-Post (Canada) - Professor analysing FASD data
A University of Regina instructor hopes her research will lead to better ways of interacting with those affected by fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD). (New Zealand) - Society 'will feel impact' of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder
A First Nations leader said fetal alcohol spectrum disorder — also known as FASD — is an "alarming" problem amongst Canada's Aboriginal population.
Shoreline Beacon (Canada) - Campaign warns against prenatal drink consumption
The Grey Bruce Health Unit and Fetal Alcohol Neurobehavioral Leadership Group have launched a coaster campaign to remind those indulging in holiday libations of the negative effects of alcohol on a developing fetus. (New Zealand) - Women reveal the cost of their drinking in documentary
New Zealand women reveal the cost of their drinking in documentary. “I didn’t realise my baby was as drunk as a skunk,” says Jackie, a married Hawke’s Bay mother of three, talking about the effect drinking while she was pregnant has had on her young son.
San Francisco Chronicle (USA) - SD program aims to curb fetal alcohol syndrome
South Dakota's largest medical facility and the Oglala Sioux Tribe have announced a partnership to expand a program aimed at preventing fetal alcohol syndrome and other alcohol-related problems affecting Native American children by intervening before their mothers become pregnant.

FASD Think Tank - Over 100 Holiday Strategies for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Supporting yourself and your family
Holidays are a tough time for our kids. We may place pressure on ourselves to try to make holidays perfect. What matters is family and love and learning to live and appreciate each other for our unique gifts.
NOFAS - Nicholas (age 9) on living with FASD
The National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (NOFAS) is the leading voice and resource of the Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) community.
NOFAS - Nancy Roget on FASD - Frontier Regional FASD Training Center
Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD), a health condition that is caused when women ingest alcohol during pregnancy, has been Disability Living’s topic of discussion for the past week.'

Government of Alberta - FASD Learning Series 2012-13
FASD Trust Event Calendar - UK

ScienceAlerts - Global Functional Connectivity Abnormalities in Children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders
Previous studies, including those employing diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), have revealed significant disturbances in the white matter of individuals with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD).
Alcoholism - Approaching the Prevalence of the Full Spectrum of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders in a South African Population-Based Study
The prevalence and characteristics of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) were determined in this fourth study of first-grade children in a South African community.
Alcoholism - Imbalanced Synaptic Plasticity Induced Spatial Cognition Impairment in Male Offspring Rats Treated with Chronic Prenatal Ethanol Exposure
As chronic prenatal ethanol (EtOH) exposure (CPEE) may cause deficiencies in a variety of behavioral and cognitive functions, the aim of present study is to investigate the effects of CPEE on spatial learning and memory and examine the action of CPEE on synaptic plasticity balance in the hippocampus of adolescent male rats.
Sanford Research - Study to curb alcohol-exposed pregnancies receives funding
A Sanford Research initiative to prevent alcohol-exposed pregnancies (AEP) and fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) in American Indian communities has been granted funding of more than $800,000 by the National Institutes of Health.

Bayerischer Rundfunk (Germany) - Eine vermeidbare Behinderung
Jährlich werden nach Angaben der Berliner Charité 10.000 Kinder in Deutschland geboren, die am Fetalen Alkoholsyndrom, kurz FASD, leiden. Es entsteht, wenn Mütter in der Schwangerschaft Alkohol trinken. (Germany) - Neue Leitlinie zur Diagnose des Fetalen Alkoholsyndroms vorgestellt
Das Fetale Alkoholsyndrom ist mit jährlich zwischen 2.000 und 4.000 betroffenen Neugeborenen die häufigste angeborene Behinderung in Deutschland, berichte die Drogenbeauftragte der Bundesregierung. Eine neue Leitlinie soll nun die Diagnose von Alkoholschäden bei Kindern deutlich erleichtern.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Alcohol and student performance: Estimating the effect of legal access

We consider the effect of legal access to alcohol on student achievement. 

Our preferred approach identifies the effect through changes in one's performance after gaining legal access to alcohol, controlling flexibly for the expected evolution of grades as one makes progress towards their degree. 

We also report RD-based estimates but argue that an RD design is not well suited to the research question in our setting.
We find that students’ grades fall below their expected levels upon being able to drink legally, but by less than previously documented. 

We also show that there are effects on women and that the effects are persistent.

Using the 1997 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, we show that students drink more often after legal access but do not consume more drinks on days on which they drink.

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