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Alcohol Research & Health

What Is Moderate Drinking?

What Is Moderate Drinking? Mary C. Dufour Defining “Drinks” and Drinking Levels As documented by ancient texts, people have long been aware of both the harmful and beneficial effects of drinking alcohol. Research into alcohol’s effects, however, is relatively new, as evidenced by the fact that the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) […]

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Alcohol Research & Health

Alcohol-Related birth defects—the past, present, and future

Alcohol-Related birth defects—the past, present, and future Kenneth R. Warren In 1994 Alcohol Health & Research World (now titled Alcohol Research & Health) last devoted a full issue to the topic of fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) and other alcohol-related birth defects (ARBD). This introductory article provides readers with information on how the field has advanced […]

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Alcohol Research & Health

Medications and Alcohol Craving

Medications and Alcohol Craving Robert M. Swift The use of medications as an adjunct to alcoholism treatment is based on the premise that craving and other manifestations of alcoholism are mediated by neurobiological mechanisms. Three of the four medications approved in the United States or Europe for treating alcoholism are reported to reduce craving; these […]

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Alcohol Research & Health

Relationships between nutrition, alcohol use, and liver disease

Relationships between nutrition, alcohol use, and liver disease Charles S. Lieber Many alcoholics are malnourished, either because they ingest too little of essential nutrients (e.g., carbohydrates, proteins, and vitamins) or because alcohol and its metabolism prevent the body from properly absorbing, digesting, and using those nutrients. As a result, alcoholics frequently experience deficiencies in proteins […]

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Alcohol Research & Health

Alcohol, Aging, and the Stress Response

Alcohol, Aging, and the Stress Response Robert L. Spencer The body responds to stress through a hormone system called the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. Stimulation of this system results in the secretion of stress hormones (i.e., glucocorticoids). Chronic excessive glucocorticoid secretion can have adverse health effects, such as Cushing’s syndrome. Alcohol intoxication activates the HPA axis […]

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Alcohol Research & Health

An Economic Approach to Animal Models of Alcoholism

An Economic Approach to Animal Models of Alcoholism Gene M. Heyman Researchers have long sought an animal model for human alcohol consumption. This article describes an economic-based approach to a model of alcohol preference in rats. The procedures are based on an analogy between clinical accounts of human drinking and the economic analysis of consumption. […]

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Alcohol Research & Health

Alcohol-Screening instruments for pregnant women

Alcohol-Screening instruments for pregnant women Grace Chang According to new studies, even low levels of prenatal alcohol exposure can negatively affect the developing fetus, thereby increasing the importance of identifying women who drink during pregnancy. In response, researchers have developed several simple alcohol-screening instruments for use with pregnant women. These instruments, which can be administered […]

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Alcohol Research & Health

Mechanism of Alcohol-induced damage to the developing nervous system

Mechanism of Alcohol-induced damage to the developing nervous system Charles R. Goodlett Numerous mechanisms likely contribute to the damaging effects of prenatal alcohol exposure on the developing fetus and particularly the developing central nervous system (CNS). The coexistence of a multitude of mechanisms that may act simultaneously or consecutively and differ among various cell types […]

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Alcohol Research & Health

Preventing Impaired Driving

Preventing Impaired Driving – even so-called ‘moderate’ drinking can impair driving Ralph W. Hingson A driver does not necessarily have to be intoxicated to be impaired by alcohol. Even moderate drinking, defined as drinking no more than two drinks per day for men and no more than one drink per day for women (National Institute […]

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Alcohol Research & Health

Chronobiological Regulation Of Alcohol Intake

Chronobiological Regulation Of Alcohol Intake Susanne Hiller-Sturmhofel Like other physiological functions, food intake and metabolism (including alcohol consumption) in humans and animal models may be regulated by circadian rhythm. For example, many studies of rodents have found that alcohol consumption in these nocturnal animals peaks during their active dark period. This alcohol consumption pattern can […]