Scientists discover brain cells that compete to sustain or suppress traumatic memories

Two clusters of brain cells compete to promote either the persistence or disappearance of traumatic memories, according to a new study conducted in mice. The findings could provide important insights into human conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety disorders, and associated problems such as alcohol use disorder (AUD) that can arise from the … Read more

Emotional Responses to Alcohol May Predict Alcohol-Related Problems

Alcohol can induce temporary positive feelings such as elation and happiness and reduce negative feelings like distress. These emotional responses to alcohol are believed to contribute to drinking behaviors that lead to alcohol use disorder or that make abstaining from drinking more difficult for some people. A new study funded by the National Institute on … Read more

NESARC-III genetic data now available to researchers

The NIAAA announces the release of genetic data collected from individuals who participated in NIAAA’s National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions-III (NESARC-III), the largest study ever conducted on alcohol use and alcohol use disorder (AUD), and its co-occurrence with drug use, substance use disorders (SUD), and related psychiatric conditions. The NESARC-III is a … Read more

Alcohol and COVID-19: Behavioral and Biological Effects

During the course of the pandemic, researchers and scientists from across the biomedical spectrum have focused on the diverse health impacts of the novel coronavirus. For their part, alcohol researchers are investigating numerous ways that alcohol might affect COVID-19 risk and severity, as well as how the COVID-19 pandemic may influence alcohol consumption patterns and … Read more

Abstinence May Influence Changes in the Gut Microbiome of People With Alcohol Use Disorder

Chronic heavy drinking, a common symptom of alcohol use disorder (AUD), has been linked to changes in the levels and types of beneficial bacteria in the gut, known as the gut microbiome. Changes in the gut microbiome, often termed microbial dysbiosis, can lead to further downstream health problems such as liver disease, inflammation, and malnutrition. … Read more

Recovery – Coming to Terms with this Complex Concept

For many years, the concept of recovery from alcohol use disorder (AUD) has permeated our societal discourse and been celebrated for individuals with AUD who do recover. Yet, recovery’s complex nature has led to ambiguity about its meaning. This lack of agreement about the kinds of outcomes that define recovery has complicated efforts to compare … Read more