ALCOHOL DEPENDENCE - A COMMENTARY ON MECHANISMS

Citation
Pl. Hoffman et B. Tabakoff, ALCOHOL DEPENDENCE - A COMMENTARY ON MECHANISMS, Alcohol and alcoholism, 31(4), 1996, pp. 333-340
Citations number
58
Language
INGLESE
art.tipo
Editorial Material
Categorie Soggetti
Substance Abuse
Journal title
ISSN journal
0735-0414
Volume
31
Issue
4
Year of publication
1996
Pages
333 - 340
Database
ISI
SICI code
0735-0414(1996)31:4<333:AD-ACO>2.0.ZU;2-S
Abstract
The alcohol dependence syndrome includes the presence of alcohol toler ance, physical dependence and an inability to control one's alcohol in take. Studies are reviewed that implicate the mesolimbic dopaminergic systems, and the gamma-aminobutyric acid-A (GABA(A)) and N-methyl-D-as partate (NMDA) receptors as mediators of various aspects of the alcoho l dependence syndrome. It is suggested that alcohol-induced changes in the GABA(A) receptor may play a role in certain aspects of tolerance to alcohol and in altered abilities of an individual to terminate alco hol intake. Chronic alcohol-induced increases in the activity of NMDA receptors may contribute to the withdrawal signs that are the defining feature of physical dependence on alcohol. It is hypothesized that de creased mesolimbic dopaminergic function, which occurs during alcohol withdrawal, may be involved in the compulsion to initiate and maintain alcohol drinking, another aspect of the alcohol dependence syndrome. Furthermore, evidence is presented that this decreased dopaminergic fu nction could occur secondarily to the increase in NMDA receptor functi on, such that the alcohol-induced increase in NMDA receptor function c ould underlie both the overt withdrawal signs and the compulsion to dr ink alcohol in the alcohol-dependent individual.