Neuroimmune Signaling: A Key Component of Alcohol Abuse.

Neuroimmune signaling: a key component of alcohol abuse.

Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2013 Feb 21;
Mayfield J, Ferguson L, Harris RA

Molecular and behavioral studies corroborate a pivotal role for the innate immune system in mediating the acute and chronic effects of alcohol and support a neuroimmune hypothesis of alcohol addiction. Changes in expression of neuroimmune genes and microglial transcripts occur in postmortem brain from alcoholics and animals exposed to alcohol, and null mutant animals lacking certain innate immune genes show decreased alcohol-mediated responses. Many of the differentially expressed genes are part of the toll like receptor (TLR) signaling pathway and culminate in an increased expression of pro-inflammatory immune genes. Compounds known to inhibit inflammation, microglial activation, and neuroimmune gene expression have shown promising results in reducing alcohol-mediated behaviors in animal models, indicating that neuroimmune signaling pathways offer unexplored targets in the treatment of alcohol abuse. HubMed – addiction


Unbalanced neuronal circuits in addiction.

Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2013 Feb 21;
Volkow ND, Wang GJ, Tomasi D, Baler RD

Through sequential waves of drug-induced neurochemical stimulation, addiction co-opts the brain’s neuronal circuits that mediate reward, motivation to behavioral inflexibility and a severe disruption of self-control and compulsive drug intake. Brain imaging technologies have allowed neuroscientists to map out the neural landscape of addiction in the human brain and to understand how drugs modify it. HubMed – addiction


The effect of drinking goals at treatment entry on longitudinal alcohol use patterns among adults with alcohol dependence.

Drug Alcohol Depend. 2013 Feb 20;
Mowbray O, Krentzman AR, Bradley JC, Cranford JA, Robinson EA, Grogan-Kaylor A

BACKGROUND: Drinking goals at treatment entry are a promising, yet under-studied mechanism of change in alcohol use following treatment. It is not known who, upon treatment entry, is likely to desire abstinence as a drinking goal and whether desiring abstinence as a drinking goal influences alcohol use following treatment. METHODS: Data from a 2.5-year longitudinal study of alcohol-dependent adults from 3 treatment sites is examined in a secondary data analysis. At treatment entry, participants reported sociodemographic and clinical characteristics, as well as whether they desired abstinence as a drinking goal or not. At each subsequent wave, participants reported their alcohol use. RESULTS: Bivariate analyses showed that individuals from a VA outpatient treatment site, men, and racial or ethnic minorities were most likely to desire abstinence as a drinking goal at treatment entry. Multi-level mixed effects regression models indicated that individuals who at baseline desired abstinence as a drinking goal sustained higher percentage of days abstinent and higher percentage of days since last drink 2.5 years following treatment entry, compared to individuals who did not desire abstinence. CONCLUSIONS: Understanding who is most likely to desire the specific drinking goal of abstinence can assist clinicians in anticipating client response to goal setting. Furthermore, by understanding the benefits and risks associated with drinking goals, clinicians can focus attention to individuals who desire a more risk-laden goal, including goals of non-abstinence, and tailor interventions, including motivational interviewing techniques, to support effective goals. HubMed – addiction


Impact on student health status of a training program of university students as health promoters. A randomized control trial: training program of university students as health promoters.

BMC Public Health. 2013 Feb 22; 13(1): 162
Mendoza-Núñez VM, Mecalco-Herrera C, Ortega-Ávila C, Mecalco-Herrera L, Soto-Espinosa JL, Rodríguez-León MA

ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Several studies have reported the following as determining factors for the adoption of healthy lifestyles among undergraduate students: gender, socioeconomic level, prior lifestyles, environment, parental lifestyles and health status, career choice, and healthy support networks. However, these factors are influenced by students’ knowledge about healthy lifestyles.Methods/design: We will carry out a randomized trial in a sample of 280 new undergraduate students at the National Autonomous University of Mexico’s Faculty of Higher Studies-Zaragoza (FES-Zaragoza, UNAM). There will be an experimental group (n = 140), comprising 20 students from each of the seven university departments (careers); these students will receive training as university student health promoters through an e-learning course. This course will allow the topics necessary for such promoters to be reviewed. There will be a control group (n = 140), comprising 20 students from each of the seven departments (careers); these students will not undergo the training. Later, the students who comply satisfactorily with the e-learning course will replicate the course to 10 of their classmates. A healthy-lifestyle questionnaire will be given to all the participants, and the parameters established in the self-care card will be recorded before and after the training. The study variables are as follows: (i) independent variable—compliance with the e-learning course; (ii) dependent variables—lifestyles changes prior to the educative intervention (including healthy eating, physical activity, and addiction prevention) and parameters related to health status established in self-care (including weight, body mass index, waist circumference, and hip circumference). Data will be analyzed using Student’s t test and logistic regression analysis odds ratios with 95% confidence intervals. The analysis of the open answers will be carried out with ATLAS. ti 5.5 software. DISCUSSION: Health promotion among university students should incorporate options that are feasible for and attractive to students. Thus, as proposed in the present protocol, e-learning courses offer excellent possibilities because they allow students to program their learning in their available time without affecting their academic studies.Trial registration: ISRCTN77787889. HubMed – addiction


Characterizing the Longitudinal Patterns of Substance Use Among Individuals Diagnosed with Serious Mental Illness after Psychiatric Hospitalization.

Addiction. 2013 Feb 25;
Bahorik AL, Newhill CE, Eack SM

AIM: Characterize longitudinal patterns of substance use across a large sample of psychiatric patients discharged from inpatient admission, followed for 1-year post-hospitalization. DESIGN: Prospective cohort study. SETTING: Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Worcester, Massachusetts, USA. PARTICIPANTS: Eight hundred one schizophrenia-spectrum (N=204), bipolar (N=137) and depressive disorder (N=460) patients from the MacArthur Violence Risk Assessment Study. MEASUREMENTS: Symptoms, functioning, drug/alcohol use assessed by the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale, the Global Assessment of Functioning, and substance use interviews. FINDINGS: Patients used alcohol (67.0%; N=540) and cannabis (30.0%; N= 237) more frequently than other substances up to 30 days before admission, and those with depressive and schizophrenia-spectrum used heroin more than individuals with bipolar (p =.023). Post-hospitalization, patients using alcohol (B = -.15, p <.001) and cannabis (B= -.27, p <.001) decreased, but patterns varied across diagnosis and genders. Patients using cannabis decreased at greater rates in depressive and schizophrenia-spectrum compared with bipolar (all p <.05), and more men used alcohol (B =.76, p <.001) and cannabis (B = 1.56, p <.001) than women. Cannabis (B = 1.65, p <.001) and alcohol (B = 1.04, p =.002) were associated with higher symptomatology; cannabis (B = -2.33, p <.001) and alcohol (B = -1.45, p =.012) were associated with lower functioning. CONCLUSIONS: Substance use is frequent and associated with poor recovery in patients with serious mental illness recently discharged from psychiatric hospitalization. Addiction treatments personalized by diagnosis and gender may be effective for improving outcomes in people with serious mental illness. HubMed – addiction