Maternal Cytokine Balance May Play Role in FASD Risk

A study done in conjunction with the Collaborative Initiative on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (CIFASD), which is supported by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, reports that disruptions in levels of certain immune system molecules during pregnancy can alter the risk for fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD). The effects of alcohol consumption on the … 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

Steep Increase in Rate of Alcohol-Related Emergency Department Visits

Picture of Ambulance

The rate of alcohol-related visits to U.S. emergency departments (EDs) increased by nearly 50 percent between 2006 and 2014, especially among females and drinkers who are middle-aged or older, according to a new study conducted by NIAAA researchers. “In just 9 years, the number of people transported to the ED annually for medical emergencies caused … Read more