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

Alcohol-related deaths increasing in the United States

An analysis of U.S. death certificate data by researchers at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), part of the National Institutes of Health, found that nearly 1 million people died from alcohol-related causes between 1999 and 2017. The number of death certificates mentioning alcohol more than doubled from 35,914 in 1999 to … Read more

Bacteriophage therapy may ease severity of alcoholic hepatitis

NIH-funded study in mice merits further investigation as a potential treatment A specific strain of a common bacteria found in most people with alcoholic hepatitis correlates with greater liver disease severity and mortality, according to a new study published in Nature. Alcoholic hepatitis is a serious form of alcohol-associated liver disease, and people with it … Read more

Using both marijuana and alcohol during early pregnancy may increase the likelihood of disrupting fetal development

New preclinical research reported in animal models shows that exposure to compounds found in marijuana called cannabinoids (CBs), which includes cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), during early pregnancy can cause malformations in the developing embryo. The research also demonstrated that co-exposure to CBs and alcohol increased the likelihood of birth defects involving the face and … Read more

New preclinical study points to potential role of human gene in addiction

A new study led by researchers at the National Institute and Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), identifies regions of the rat genome that are associated with a behavior that is highly predictive of addiction onset and progression. The region in the rat genome with the strongest association … Read more

NIH-funded rodent study finds molecular link between adolescent alcohol use and adult anxiety

Wine glass and beer bottle over brain graphic

New preclinical research in rats has identified a link between adolescent alcohol exposure and specific molecular changes in the brain that contribute to increased anxiety in adulthood. A large body of evidence demonstrates a strong relationship between alcohol and anxiety problems in humans. “These findings provide insight into the mechanisms through which alcohol-induced brain changes … Read more