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Familial Alcoholism Risk and the Ratio of Stimulant to Sedative Effects of Ketamine

Published:September 22, 2015DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biopsych.2015.09.006
      Alcohol use disorder (AUD) is one of the leading causes of burden among all medical diseases in the United States and the world (
      • Rehm J.
      • Mathers C.
      • Popova S.
      • Thavorncharoensap M.
      • Teerawattananon Y.
      • Patra J.
      Global burden of disease and injury and economic cost attributable to alcohol use and alcohol-use disorders.
      ), and there is a strong familial risk for developing AUD (
      • Schuckit M.A.
      New findings in the genetics of alcoholism.
      ). In the 1980s, the first work was published showing that altered subjective response to alcohol was a risk factor for the development of AUD among individuals with a family history of AUD (
      • Schuckit M.A.
      Subjective responses to alcohol in sons of alcoholics and control subjects.
      ). Since then, studies using alcohol administration in the laboratory have mostly supported this finding and have suggested that there is a shift in reward valence of alcohol, such that it is perceived as more rewarding (higher stimulation) and less aversive (lower sedation) in individuals who are at risk to develop AUD (
      • Newlin D.B.
      • Thomson J.B.
      Alcohol challenge with sons of alcoholics: A critical review and analysis.
      ,
      • Morean M.E.
      • Corbin W.R.
      Subjective response to alcohol: A critical review of the literature.
      ,
      • King A.C.
      • Hasin D.
      • O’Connor S.J.
      • McNamara P.J.
      • Cao D.
      A prospective 5-year re-examination of alcohol response in heavy drinkers progressing in alcohol use disorder.
      ). Not all studies have supported this hypothesis, although different methods of alcohol administration, heterogeneous drinking history among participants, and various measurement types may explain some of the variability (
      • Morean M.E.
      • Corbin W.R.
      Subjective response to alcohol: A critical review of the literature.
      ,
      • Schuckit M.A.
      The answer you get depends on the question you ask.
      ,
      • Newlin D.B.
      • Renton R.M.
      High risk groups often have higher levels of alcohol response than low risk: The other side of the coin.
      ).
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