Prenatal alcohol exposure changes mouse brain circuitry involved in decision making

Prenatal alcohol exposure is a leading preventable cause of birth defects and neurodevelopmental abnormalities in the United States. It can lead to learning, memory, and impulsivity problems in both children and adults. In a new study conducted with mice, NIAAA scientists report that specific changes in a brain circuit involved in learning and decision making could … Read more

Choline supplements in young children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder have lasting cognitive benefits

NIAAA-funded scientists report that early life dietary choline supplements improve some of the cognitive and behavioral symptoms associated with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) four years after treatment ended. The results of this study suggest that choline treatment during an important time window during early childhood can alter brain development in a way that produces … Read more

COVID-19 means long stretch of stormy weather for people with alcohol and substance use disorders

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has created an environment that is particularly problematic for individuals with alcohol and substance use disorders (ASUD), according to physician scientists at the National Institutes of Health.  In a commentary now online in the American Journal of Psychiatry, the researchers liken the global coronavirus emergency to a “perfect storm,” with dire … Read more

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders May Increase the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes and Other Metabolic Issues

Adults with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) may have an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, and other metabolic abnormalities such as low HDL cholesterol and elevated levels of triglycerides compared to people without FASD, according to a new study supported by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), part of the National … Read more

Meta-analysis supports AA as treatment for AUD

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is as effective as established behavioral treatments for some people with alcohol use disorder (AUD), according to an extensive review of NIAAA-supported research and other studies.  As reported March 11 in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Review, researchers used a meta-analysis to show that AA and other 12-step facilitation interventions are effective in … Read more

Study Identifies Genetic Variant that May Contribute to Alcohol and Drug Addiction

People with a genetic variant of a neurotransmitter gene may have an increased risk of addiction to alcohol and other substances later in life if they were exposed to childhood stress, such as divorce or emotionally distant parents, and other adverse experiences, according to recent research. The study led by researchers at the University of … Read more