Advancing Alcoholic Hepatitis Research

Breakthroughs in neuroscience have firmly established our understanding of alcohol use disorder (AUD) as a chronic brain disease. But when it comes to the adverse health effects of alcohol, the brain is not the only game in town. Drinking too much—on a single occasion or over time—can take a serious toll on just about every … Read more

Advances in Understanding and Addressing Underage Drinking

Combating underage drinking is a major public health priority, as alcohol use by young people increases the likelihood of short- and long-term consequences, including altered brain development, academic problems, sexually transmitted infections, physical and sexual assault, traffic crashes, injuries, overdoses, and alcohol use disorder (AUD). Epidemiological data from the 2018 Monitoring the Future (MTF) survey, … Read more

Brain Studies Point to Perils of Adolescent Alcohol Use

Image of a brain

The brain takes longer to develop and mature than any other organ in the body. Beginning in the third week of gestation and extending into the mid-20s, an ongoing interplay of genetic and environmental factors results in the mature human brain, a structure composed of more than 100 billion neurons. Some of the most rapid … Read more

New Prevalence Estimates of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Range From 1 to 5 Percent in U.S. Communities

children gather around a circle

Findings reflect a more comprehensive approach and larger sample size than previous studies A study of more than 6,000 first-graders across 4 U.S. communities has found that a significant number of children have fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD), with conservative rates ranging from 1 to 5 percent in community samples. The new findings represent more … Read more

Anti-Smoking Medication May Reduce Alcohol Craving

Varenicline, an anti-smoking medication, may reduce craving for alcohol in people who drink heavily and for people with alcohol use disorder (AUD) who are also depressed, according to two recent studies. The research, funded by NIAAA and led by Sherry McKee, Ph.D., Professor of Psychiatry at Yale School of Medicine, provides more evidence that varenicline … Read more