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

Brain Training May Help People With Alcohol Use Disorder Delay Gratification

Previous research has shown that people with alcohol use disorder (AUD) have more difficulty with working memory (WM) tasks and in planning for the future, compared with people without AUD. Individuals with AUD also overvalue immediate rewards, such as consuming an alcoholic drink offered to them, and devalue potentially larger future rewards, such as better … Read more

Advanced Analytic Methods Could Provide Insight Into Mechanisms of Behavior Change

Numerous evidence-based behavioral interventions for alcohol use disorder (AUD) are available, including cognitive behavioral therapy, couples therapy, 12-step facilitation, and motivational interviewing. A current focus of research on behavioral interventions for AUD is identifying the processes through which evidence-based interventions work. Known as mechanisms of behavior change (MOBCs), such as increased readiness to change, increased … Read more

Researchers identify key brain circuits for reward-seeking and avoidance behavior

microscopy image of a rodent brain cross-section; pathways in the extended amygdala related to reward-seeking and aversion are labeled in fluorescent green

Previously unrecognized pathways in mice have relevance for mental health and addiction research Researchers have identified connections between neurons in brain systems associated with reward, stress, and emotion. Conducted in mice, the new study may help untangle multiple psychiatric conditions, including alcohol use disorder, anxiety disorders, insomnia, and depression in humans. “Understanding these intricate brain … Read more

Hunger Hormone Affects Alcohol Intake

X-ray of human body

A new study by researchers at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) provides further evidence that a hormone produced in the stomach influences alcohol consumption in humans. As reported in Molecular Psychiatry, researchers led by Lorenzo Leggio, M.D., Ph.D., demonstrated that the hormone, called ghrelin, may be a promising target for developing … Read more